Posted on 6/20/2019 by Dr. Dennison
|When it comes to cancer screening, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, it is important to have yourself screened on a regular basis. We recommend getting an oral cancer screening every 6 to 12 months.
The reason you need a regular screening is that oral cancer can develop undetected for a long time. For many people, it is never detected until it has spread to the lymph nodes and the rest of the body. At that point, the chances of a full recovery are much lower than they would be if the cancer had been detected before it had a chance to spread.
Oral Cancer is Highly Treatable
The real tragedy in all of this is that oral cancer, if caught early, is very treatable. The National Cancer Institute places the chances of a full recovery at greater than 80% in cases where it is detected early on. Because of this, we recommend a regular screening closer to every 6 months than every 12 months. Still, if you get screened every 12 months, you will still have a much better chance of full recovery than you would if you were not getting regularly screened.
Screening is Easy and Painless
Some people are afraid to get screened for cancer, thinking that the process could be difficult and painful. This is actually not true: the initial screening usually involves a close visual inspection of the tissues in the mouth and throat.
While it is possible that you might need to get a biopsy, this would only be needed in cases where there is an abnormal growth detected. For the vast majority of people, this is never an issue. Even if you do need a biopsy, it is quick and simple, and much better than allowing a potentially cancerous growth to remain.
So be sure you get screened for oral cancer. Your life could depend on it.