How Often Should I Get an Oral Cancer Screening?

 In Blog, Info Articles, Oral Cancer, Oral Health, Shreveport Dentist

how often should I get an oral cancer screening

How Often Should I Get an Oral Cancer Screening?

Many people only think about cavities and other abnormalities when they visit their dentist in Shreveport, LA. However, another risk may lie hidden until you get an oral cancer screening from your dental office. Many dental experts recommend annual oral cancer screenings because it helps with early detection and early treatment. Here is some helpful information to consider if you have been asking yourself, “How often should I get an oral cancer screening?”

Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Important?

Like all diseases, especially cancers, early detection is crucial for a better chance of successful treatment. Oral cancer screening is especially important because the disease may progress without your notice. Oral cancer signs will only appear once the disease has spread or progressed.

Secondly, oral cancer treatment is less expensive when the disease is in its initial stages. For example, the surgery to remove the cancerous lesions in the initial stages will not be as expensive as clearing out bigger forms of cancer. Dr. Ben Kacos advises Shreveport residents to undergo oral cancer screening at every dental appointment.

What Are Oral Cancer’s Early Signs?

Dr. Kacos, Shreveport’s dentist, says that oral cancer screening is the best way to detect oral cancer since its early signs vary.

However, the typical early signs range from difficulty in swallowing or chewing, dry or irritated sections of the throat, pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the tongue. Unfortunately, these same signs can be triggered by other conditions, so they cannot be relied upon to make an accurate diagnosis of oral cancer. Only an oral screening test can yield definitive or actionable information about the diagnosis of oral cancer.

What Is Done During an Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral cancer screening in Shreveport is a simple process that Dr. Kacos can perform as part of your routine dental visit. Oral cancer screening entails swishing a special fluid within your mouth after your Shreveport dentist examines your mouth. Any abnormal growths within your mouth and throat will be easy to spot.

Dr. Ben Kacos can give you your oral cancer screening results before you leave the dental office, or he can order for additional tests, such as having a biopsy.

How Often Should I Get an Oral Cancer Screening?

We asked our friend, Dr. Cody Cowen, a dentist in Baton Rouge, LA, about how often he thinks his patients should get an oral cancer screening. Dr. Cown says you generally should get an oral cancer screening at least once each year in order to catch this potential disease early.

Oral cancer screenings are very simple and should be done at every dental visit you make. However, such frequent screening may only be necessary for those at high risk of the disease.

What Are the Oral Cancer Risk Factors?

The major risk factors for oral cancer are a family history of oral cancer or any other cancer. Tobacco use and heavy consumption of alcohol are also notable risk factors. Significant exposure to the sun also predisposes the risk of developing lip cancer, so such individuals are advised to undergo frequent oral cancer screening conducted by Shreveport’s dentist.

How Do I Prepare for Oral Cancer Screening?

Unlike other screening procedures that may require you to prepare in a special way, such as fasting for a given number of hours before the procedure, Dr. Kacos, Shreveport’s dentist explains that you don’t have to do anything to prepare for oral cancer screening. You can just complete it when you visit the dentist for a routine dental checkup.

As you may have noticed from the discussion above, the answer to “How often should I get an oral cancer screening?” will vary depending on the specific risk factors in your life. Talk to your Shreveport dentist about this simple test so that you can put any fears you have about this disease to rest.

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