The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer kills roughly one person every hour in the US. The Oral Cancer Foundation reports that over 45,000 Americans will be diagnosed with an oral or pharyngeal cancer this year, and nearly half of those diagnosed will die within 5 years. In Meyerland and other communities in the Houston area, oral cancer makes up approximately 2 percent of all cancers diagnosed, but the death rate from oral cancer is particularly high. The biggest factor in this high mortality rate is not related to difficulty in diagnosis or detection, but because it is often not caught until it is very advanced.

As serious as oral cancer is, it would make sense for every dentist to perform oral cancer screenings as part of every dental checkup. However, that is too often not the case. Early detection offers the best prognosis for recovery from oral cancer. When Dr. Fleschler performs an oral cancer screening, she is often able to detect signs of cancer before you are even aware.

Some signs of oral cancer include:

  • A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
  • A color change of the oral tissues
  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust, or small, eroded area
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips

To schedule a dental cleaning complete with oral cancer screening, please contact Dr. Heather Fleschler using the form at the right side of the page or call (713) 660-6500 today. Dr. Fleschler serves patients in the Houston, Texas area, including Bellaire, West University, Meyerland, and River Oaks.

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