It is important to undergo an oral cancer screening regularly. After all, the earlier any type of cancer is caught, the easier it is to treat. Here at Lynch Dental Center in River Forest and Chicago, IL, any one of our dentists, Dr. John Lynch, Dr. Sheila Lynch, or Dr. Frances Lynch, can perform an oral cancer screening for you—read on to learn more.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
There are several factors that can increase a person’s risk of developing oral cancer, including:
- Heredity / genetics
- Long-term tobacco use
- Moderate-to-heavy alcohol consumption
- Frequent sun exposure
- Exposure to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV16)
- Being middle-aged or older
Signs of Oral Cancer
Several signs and symptoms are associated with oral cancer. Accordingly, it is crucial that you see one of the experienced dentists at one of our offices in River Forest or Chicago right away if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms around the mouth:
- White patches
- Red patches
Tissue samples can be taken from suspicious areas to test for the presence of cancer cells. If cancer is present, then an individualized treatment plan can be developed for you.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Screenings are extremely important for the early detection of oral cancer. Early detection can lead to a better prognosis when the cancer is caught before it has had a chance to progress. Additionally, early detection allows for treatment to begin sooner, which is helpful in stopping the cancer from spreading. Oral cancer screenings can be performed as part of your regular dental checkup.
During an oral cancer screening, your dentist will examine all areas of the mouth, including the lips, gums, and top and bottom of the tongue. Oral cancer is most commonly diagnosed in adults age 40 years or older. However, increasing numbers of young adults are now being diagnosed with oral cancer due to the spread of HPV16. Therefore, it is important for adults of all ages to regularly undergo an oral cancer screening.
Concerned? Give Us a Call
To schedule a screening with one of the dentists at our office in River Forest, call Lynch Dental Center at (708) 366-6411. Screenings can also be performed at our office in Chicago, reachable at (312) 263-3235.