When Do You Need Oral Cancer Screenings?

This month we are focusing on the importance of routine oral cancer screenings. A regular screening allows the dentist to look for potential warning signs, allowing you to start treatment early. How often should you have an oral cancer screening?

Oral Cancer Screening Quiz

  1. True or False: April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month.
  2. True or False: You should have a screening at least once a year.
  3. True or False: Any sudden changes or discomfort in your mouth may be a warning sign.
  4. True or False: We are offering free screenings all month.

Answer Key

  1. True. During the month of April medical professionals across the country will be recognizing Oral Cancer Awareness Month. We want to make sure our patients are aware of the importance of a screening. Over 45,000 people are diagnosed each year, with over half of those diagnosed passing away as a result of the disease within five years. The cause of the high mortality rate is typically attributed to the fact that the disease is rarely caught in the early stages.
  2. True. When you have an oral cancer screening the doctor can look for any signs of possible cancerous or precancerous areas. Should anything be discovered a biopsy will be recommended for a thorough diagnosis. Catching the disease in the early stages is essential for improving the odds of recovery.
  3. True. If you notice sore or rough areas that won’t heal, unexplained bleeding, red and white patches, hoarseness, or pain when eating or swallowing then we recommend a diagnosis right away. Risk factors include smoking, being over 55, excessive drinking, and genetics.
  4. True. During the month of April you can undergo a free screening. Simply contact our office today.


Calcagno Cosmetic and Family Dentistry offer expert services including dental implants, Six Month Smiles, pediatric dentistry, root canals, and teeth whitening in Rochester MN. To schedule a consultation, please call (507) 218-8936. Dr. Gilly Calcagno and Dr. Kara Heimer welcome and serve patients from Rochester, Red Wing, St. Charles, Winona, Farmington, Austin, and the surrounding communities.