Oral Cancer Screenings in Fort Myers, FL
Although dentists concentrate on the teeth and gums in their practices, they have the training to spot many medical problems during examinations. During their twice-a-year dental exams, they also perform oral cancer screenings. Approximately 132 Americans receive a diagnosis of oral cancer every day, but the sooner dentists find it, the more likely it will be successfully treated.
Facts About Oral Cancer
Although more men than women get oral cancer, it is a disease that doesn’t discriminate. Fortunately, dentists often spot oral cancers in their early stages, when the cancer treatments are more likely to be successful. Some of the signs of cancer that one of our dentists at Fort Myers Dental Arts may spot during are:
- Red, black, or white spots on tissues in the mouth
- Sores or ulcerations that do not heal within two weeks
- Abnormalities of the mouth that easily bleed when touched
- Lumps or hard areas in the mouth, especially on the tongue’s side
- A lip or thickening of the cheek, lip, or on another area in the mouth
- A firm lump on the side of the neck
If our dentists in Fort Myers, FL suspects cancer, they will either refer you to your physician or an oncologist for more testing or perform a biopsy. If cancer is confirmed, then they can set an appointment with an oncologist for you.
Stages of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer has five stages, from I to IV. While dentists only find about 20 percent of oral cancers in the early stages, including stages 1 to 2, this is when it is the most curable. The rate of survival is approximately 70 to 90 percent.
The longer cancer goes undetected, the worse it gets, and the lower the survival rate is by the time a dentist finds it. By stage IV, the five-year survival rate drops under 40 percent.
Thankfully, our dentists at Fort Myers Dental Arts in Fort Myers, FL have the necessary training to spot oral cancer and get their patients the help they need as soon as possible.
Early detection of oral cancer by our dentists at Fort Myers Dental Arts can save lives, which is another reason to schedule a routine appointment every six months with our dentists in Fort Myers, FL.