Compelling Reasons Why You Need to undergo Oral Cancer Screening
Do you know that oral cancer is responsive to primary and secondary prevention? Advanced techniques can be used to detect malignant lesions early and facilitate treatment. Oral cancer is one of the leading global malignancies with the lowest survival rates diagnosed at the late stages. Oral cancer screening is performed by your dentist to detect any signs of precancerous lesions in your mouth. Screening is aimed at identifying oral cancer early and finding better chances for treatment.
Our Seattle Dentist performs the oral examination during your routine dental appointment to check for signs of oral cavity cancer. You can undergo additional tests to find accurate results in identifying the abnormal cells in your mouth. During your routine visit, your dentist will analyze your overall health and consider various risk factors that may lead to oral cancer. Specialized tests can also be ideal in determining whether you have the cancerous lesions on your oral tissues.
Various Symptoms Associated With Oral Cancer
It would be best if you visited your dentists for a screening procedure if you have the following symptoms:
- Pain or numbness that bites down on your dental
- White or red patches on your oral tissues
- Unexplained bleeding of your tissues
- Swelling, hard spots, or lumps on your oral tissues
- Persistent facial or neck soreness
- Difficulty in chewing or moving your jaws and tongue
- Chronic sore throat or Hoarseness
Why Screening for Oral Cancer is Vital
Oral cancer screening is done to detect precancerous lesions or mouth cancer at early stages since lesions can be easily removed and cured before a further spread. You are likely to benefit from a screening procedure if you are at a high risk of having oral cancer. Some of the risk factors attributed to oral cancer include:
- Excessive use of alcohol
- Usage of tobacco-contained drugs including cigarettes, snuff, and pipes
- Previous diagnosis with oral cancer
- Having a history of intense sun exposure
You can visit your medical practitioner for medical evaluation and undergo screening for oral cancer. Your physician will advise you on various precautionary measures to lessen the risks of having oral cancer and perform appropriate tests for you.
What You Should Expect During a Screening Procedure
Screening for oral cancer doesn’t need special preparation, and it’s performed during your routine dental visit. During the oral cavity cancer examination, your dental specialist will examine your tissues to check for any signs of red or white patches or soreness. Physical tests are done to feel your oral tissues and identify lumps. Our Seattle Dentist may examine swelling on your neck or throat. The screening procedure is non-invasive and painless, and it requires a single dental visit. During your oral examination, your specialist will:
- Ask you to remove dentures or any dental appliances to enable a straightforward assessment of all your oral tissues
- Inspect your lips, neck, and oral tissues to check for any signs of oral cancer
- Physically feel the condition of your oral tissues to check for lumps
- Check inside your cheeks and lips for any signs of soreness
- Ask you to stick your tongue out, to check for discoloration, abnormal texture, or swelling
- Use gauze to check for cancerous cells at all angles on your oral tissues
Oral Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
At Ballard Dentistry, we use personalized criteria for assessing your results after screening. Our tools are advanced to provide high specificity and accuracy. High Sensitivity indicates more accurate results if you have precancerous lesions. We use various tests that provide predictive results to determine whether you have oral cancer or not. If your dentists diagnose you with signs of precancerous lesions, they’ll recommend you to do:
- A follow-up appointment for the next few weeks to examine whether the abnormal tissues are still present and if there are significant changes.
- A biopsy procedure to sample the precancerous cells for further specialized testing determines whether the lesions are present. Your dentist can perform a biopsy or refer you to an expert specializing in oral cancer diagnosis and treatment.
If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, you can start early treatment through chemotherapy to destroy the precancerous cells. Oral cancer is a life-threatening condition, and it’s essential to undergo screening to determine whether your oral tissues are in the right state. Please make an appointment for a screening procedure today!