Cancer is a modern problem that keeps on affecting our society. Just like other parts of the body, it is also possible to have mouth cancer and as such, it is important to check for it through oral cancer screening.
This is an examination that is performed by a dentist to analyze the mouth looking for signs of cancer. The goal of oral cancer screening is to search for signs of mouth cancer early on so that it is still curable. Most dentists will perform such an examination on routine visits.
Some people have higher risks of mouth cancer. People who smoke, people who drink a lot of alcohol and people who have had significant sun exposure are all at risk of getting either mouth or lip cancer.
A lot of people have sores in their mouths and as such, oral cancer screening is likely to lead to additional tests as most of these sores are likely to not be cancerous at all. In order to determine which ones are cancerous and which ones aren’t, additional testing is required.
Moreover, oral cancer screening can fail to identify some forms of mouth cancer. Just by looking at the mouth it is really hard to identify strange cells and as such, it is possible that some forms of mouth cancer go unnoticed.
Oral cancer screening itself is rather simple. The dentist is simply going to look at the inside of your mouth and check for sores and red or white patches. The dentist is also going to be feeling the tissues in your mouth to check for abnormalities.
The exam itself requires no specific preparation and depending on the results there will either be a follow-up visit to the dentist so that he can check the development of any abnormal area he might have found, or a biopsy to identify whether or not some cells are cancerous.
For more information about cancer screening please contact our office. We will be happy to answer your questions.