Importance of Oral Cancer Screening

Posted .

One of the most common types of cancer is oral cancer, which can begin as a seemingly insignificant lesion or sore inside the mouth that eventually spreads to the rest of the body.

What is your risk of oral cancer? Do you need an oral cancer screening?

Oral cancer once was considered a rarity—something that only affected heavy smokers or drinkers. Actually, more than 35,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year. Concurrently, the five-year survival rate of oral cancer patients has dropped by almost 50 percent. One reason the survival rate has dipped is that many oral cancer patients are not screened until cancer already has reached an advanced stage.

Getting an oral cancer screening is easy and non-invasive. It involves observing eight areas of the mouth, including the lips, tonsils, gums, mucosa, and tongue. An oral cancer screening does not entail using any tools that will make you uncomfortable. In many cases, an oral cancer screening involves using a light-emitting device that makes any potential problem areas in the orofacial area appear dark. Healthy areas look fluorescent. This allows a dentist to identify any areas of concern.

The office of Brian Hockel, DDS, urges all our patients to be screened for oral cancer. Better safe than sorry! Early detection remains your best defense against any chronic disease, especially a life-threatening one such as cancer.

To schedule an oral cancer screening for yourself or a member of your family, call our office at 925-478-7776.

Dr. Brian Hockel and Dr. Rebecca Jardine are proud to serve patients from Walnut Creek, Clayton, Concord, and Lafayette, California, as well as from the greater San Francisco East Bay area and beyond.