Colorado Dental Arts Discusses the Importance of Oral Cancer Screening

The experienced team at Colorado Dental Arts performs an oral cancer screening each time patients visit for cleanings and exams. It takes just a matter of seconds to check for cancer, but this simple process saves lives! Because oral cancers initially cause no pain, people may not notice a problem until the cancer is advanced. Yet with early detection, oral cancer is curable and the likelihood of recovery is dramatically increased.

A Recent Case at Colorado Dental Arts

For example, consider the following experience of a teenaged patient at Colorado Dental Arts, as related by his mother, Denise:

"We went in for a routine six-month checkup and Dr. Froning noticed during Andrew’s oral cancer screening that something felt abnormal. He said we needed to have it checked as soon as possible. We went to the doctor right away and they determined that it was stage 1 Hodgkin's lymphoma. He went through three rounds of chemotherapy, and by the time we went in to see Dr. Froning again for another cleaning and check-up, Andrew was in remission.

“I truly believe that Dr. Froning saved my son’s life and I think we are very lucky to have found it in the first stage. It's scary because Andrew had no symptoms at all, except that he was a little tired. Andrew is only nineteen now and all of the other kids his age that we knew who went through this didn't find out until stage 3 or 4. They did not survive. I am so thankful for Dr. Froning and I refer everyone I know to him.”

The Oral Cancer Screening Process

During an oral cancer screening, Colorado Dental Arts always checks the tongue, lips, cheeks and gums for anything unusual. In most cases, nothing abnormal is found. Occasionally, team members do discover tissue that should be examined further, as in the case of Andrew. In these circumstances, this quick and simple screening has proven to be life-saving.

Do You Have to Smoke to Get Oral Cancer?

Anyone is at risk for oral cancer — not just smokers and tobacco users. It is important to note, however, that the risk is highest with tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption. Another cause is from a common virus found in a large percentage of the population — HPV (human papillomavirus) is responsible for many oral cancers. And although oral cancer tends to affect people aged fifty and beyond, Andrew’s cancer demonstrates that all ages can be affected.

Oral Cancer Warning Signs

Contact a dentist for an oral exam if you experience any of the following symptoms of oral cancer:

  • Unexplained problems with swallowing;
  • Hoarseness that doesn’t go away;
  • Bleeding in the mouth or throat;
  • Patches, red or white, on the mouth or lips;
  • Oral sores that last beyond two weeks;
  • Swelling or lumps in or near the mouth and neck.

When screening for oral cancer is combined with an understanding of its risks, patients are better protected from this initially painless disease. Make sure to receive oral cancer screenings during semi-annual dental checkups. These visits to the dentist are more than just opportunities to clean and protect the teeth, for in the event of oral cancer, dental professionals are saving lives!

Source: Colorado Dental Arts


Categories: Active and Healthy Living, Healthcare, Cancer/Oncology, Healthcare and Medical News, Dentistry

Tags: cancer risks, chemotherapy, dental, dentist, Hodgkin's lymphoma, oral cancer, oral screening

About Colorado Dental Arts

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From the beginning, our mission has been to create the best dental experience possible while providing the best dentistry available for each patient. After serving generations of Littleton families, we haven't lost sight of that vision.

Colorado Dental Arts
9102 W. Ken Caryl Avenue
Littleton, CO 80128
United States