While oral cancer may not be the most common form of cancer diagnosed in the United States, this type of cancer does account for around three percent of every case diagnosed within a year. Therefore, oral cancer screenings in Willowbrook, IL are an important step in your overall preventive health plan. One thing patients often wrestle with is whether they should be screened themselves. Here is a closer look at who should be screened, when, and why.
Adults Over the Age of 20
Beyond the age of 20, you should be screened for oral cancer about every three years when you visit the dentist. Your dentist will make sure you get the proper screening every three years as recommended. While cancer of the mouth at this age is considered rare, some young adults can be more at risk than others.
Adults Over the Age of 40
By the time a patient reaches the age of 40, their risks of oral cancer development do grow. Therefore, it is important for an oral cancer screening to be performed every year right along with your dental checkup. If you are over the age of 40 and not sure if your dentist is doing a screening, be sure to bring up the topic at your next dental exam.
All Patients Who Are at Risk of Oral Cancer
Some patients are naturally more at risk for oral cancer regardless of their actual age. These patients should be screened every year. You may be at higher risk of oral cancer if:
- You use tobacco (regular or smokeless)
- You regularly consume alcohol
- You have been diagnosed with human papillomavirus (HPV)
- You have a family history of cancer
- You have been diagnosed with oral cancer in the past
Looking for an Oral Cancer Screening in Willowbrook?
Even though any kind of cancer can be scary, oral cancer is considered highly treatable as long as the condition is diagnosed early. If you believe you are at risk for oral cancer or you know it has been a while since you have been screened, it may be time to talk to a Willowbrook dentist for advice. Reach out to us at Dentists of Hinsdale Lake to schedule an appointment.