Oral Cancer Screenings in Jackson, MI
The most important appointments with your dentist are your biannual checkups. During these visits, our dentists check your teeth for decay and damage. They also visually and physically examine the soft tissues of the mouth, neck, and beneath the lips and tongue for lumps, lesions, and discolorations as part of your oral cancer screenings in Jackson, MI.
Why are Screenings for Cancer Important?
Early detection of oral cancer is critical for patients’ survival, so our dentists at Iocca Family Dentistry check for this disease every six months during routine checkups. The survival rate for patients who have their cancers detected during the first stage is approximately 83 percent. However, it drops to 38 percent if the cancer isn’t detected until it spreads to other parts of the body.
Unfortunately, most people don’t have their cancer discovered until it spreads to their lymph nodes or metastasizes in another part of their body. If you’re not sure you’ve had one recently, ask your dentist about having an oral cancer screening during an examination of your teeth and mouth. During these exams, dentists can detect throat cancers as well.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
You can do your part in detecting cancer by paying attention to any symptoms that you might have, which include:
- Red or white lesions on lips or mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Loose teeth
- Lump on the neck
- Persistent earache
- A lump or hard tissue in your mouth
- Numbness in the lower lip, chin, face, or neck
While some of these symptoms belong to other issues, you should not ignore them. Contact our dentists in Jackson, MI if you notice these symptoms to get a screening.
Diagnosing Oral Cancer
After finding something suspicious, our dentists near you may do a biopsy in the office or refer you to an oncologist to have one. Diagnostic tests should get scheduled as soon as possible so that if they are positive for cancer, treatments can begin right away. The sooner treatments start, the better your chances are for survival.
If you find a lump on your neck, lesions in your mouth, or you’re having difficulty swallowing, don’t hesitate to call us at Iocca Family Dentistry for oral cancer screenings near you.