Could an oral cancer screening help you protect your health? The screenings are just one of the oral health services and treatments offered by your Katonah, NY, dentists, Drs. Enyoung Park and Terry Lin of ParkLin Dental.
Who needs a screening?
The short answer is everyone. Oral cancer can affect anyone at any time, making screenings important no matter what your age or risk factors. In fact, about 53,000 people will develop cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates.
These factors may increase your risk of developing oral cancer:
- Tobacco use
- Heavy alcohol use
- Age 55 or older
- Human papillomavirus infection (HPV) of the mouth or throat
- Poor nutrition
- Conditions or medications that suppress the immune system
- Exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun (The ACS notes that lip cancer is more common in people who work outdoors.)
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
Lumps and bumps aren't the only signs of oral cancer. Other signs can be more subtle and easy to overlook. Do you have a canker sore that never seems to get better? A sore that doesn't heal may be an indication that you have cancer.
Cancer can cause red or white patches in your mouth, pain, or difficulty chewing. Loose teeth and poorly fitting dentures may also be related to oral cancer, although cancer is certainly not the only possible cause of these problems.
You may notice that your tongue or mouth feels numb or that you have a sore throat that just won't go away. Your voice may also become hoarse, or you may develop ear pain if you have oral cancer.
How can I get an oral cancer screening?
Screenings are offered as part of every dental checkup. If you notice any changes in your tongue, gums, mouth, throat, or lips during visits, give the Katonah dental office a call. We'll see you as soon as possible, perform a thorough examination, and take samples of any suspicious tissues. If you do have cancer, we'll refer you to the appropriate cancer specialists for immediate treatment.
Do you need a checkup and oral cancer screening? Call your dentists in Katonah, NY, Drs. Enyoung Park and Terry Lin of ParkLin Dental, at (914) 232-8182 to schedule your appointment.