Initial Exam and Oral Cancer Screening

The American Dental Association estimates that every year, more than 30,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer. Of these 30,000, only half of patients diagnosed will survive for more than five years after diagnosis.

Early detection is the key to successfully treating any type of cancer, and oral cancer is certainly no exception. That’s why when you come to your initial exam as a patient at Happy Smiles; one of the first things we do is a thorough examination of your mouth for traces of oral cancer.

The Oral Cancer Foundation defines oral cancer as an ideal cancer to identify early by screening, as an identifiable pre-malignant lesion frequently precedes it. With proper screening, we can detect the disease before any symptoms develop. This is extremely important; as by the time symptoms begin to develop, the cancer has often already begun to spread Generally, oral cancer is found in patients who use tobacco and/or drink alcohol excessively, but in 25 percent of cases, patients had not exposed themselves these risk factors. That’s why early detection is so important.

By screening for oral cancer and detecting it and treating it in its earliest stages, we can increase the potential for a successful treatment.