When we hear about the risk of cancer, our natural reaction is to want to run from that risk. We want to convince ourselves that we are not at risk, and avoid the topic altogether. This is a common reaction recorded through research. Some cancers risks are easier to ignore than others. For example, you might have convinced yourself that oral cancer is not a risk for you because you don’t use tobacco, but oral cancer doesn’t work that way.
It is true that well over half of oral cancer patients have a history or tobacco use. Many are men who are over the age of fifty, but there is a surprising new trend in oral cancer that might surprise you. There is a growing number of oral cancer patients who have no connection with tobacco, but do have a history with HPV (human papillomavirus). In truth, no one is ever completely safe from any form of cancer.
Cancer Isn’t Choosy
Cancer doesn’t follow demographic lines of any sort. There are trends, and there are patterns, but there are no defining lines that cancer won’t cross. That’s why we screen all patients for signs of oral cancer. The screening itself is not complicated or uncomfortable. We simply shine a special light in and around your mouth to look for unhealthy tissue. We will also use the naked eye to look for abnormally colored or textured skin on your cheeks, tongue, gums, etc.
If caught early, oral cancer is very treatable, but it must be caught early. We recommend an oral cancer screening at least once every year, but we will be on the lookout for problems at each six month appointment as well. Contact us today to set up your next appointment. While you are in, we can discuss your risk for oral cancer as well as perform a screening. We hope to see you soon!