Although oral cancer may not get as much attention as some of the more widely-known types of cancer, that doesn’t mean it’s any less dangerous. In fact, it is estimated that in the United States, oral cancer is responsible for killing one person every hour, every day. While it accounts for only a small percentage of all cancers, oral cancer is dangerous because it isn’t usually detected until it has already reached an advanced stage. At that point, the odds are not good. Only about 6 in 10 people will survive after five years of treatment.
If there was a simple test that could give you an early warning about whether you’re likely to have this disease, would you take it? Fortunately, there is such a test. Since early detection has been shown to increase the survival rate of oral cancer to over 80%, this test can be a lifesaver. Having an oral cancer screening is part of something you should be doing regularly: keeping you safe.
An oral cancer examination is relatively quick and painless. Its objective is to identify small changes in the lining tissues of the mouth, lips and tongue that may signify the early stages of this type of cancer. The screening is primarily a visual and tactile examination. If any abnormalities are noted, a small tissue sample can be retrieved for further testing in a laboratory.