What is Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer screening is a comprehensive examination of the mouth and throat to detect any signs of cancer at an early stage. During the screening, your dentist will examine the inside of your mouth, including the gums, lips, tongue, and throat, looking for any abnormalities or changes.
Who is at risk for oral cancer?
Anyone can develop oral cancer, but some people are at a higher risk due to particular lifestyle choices or underlying medical conditions. Some of the common indicators include:
- Tobacco use
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Sun or UV Exposure
- Family history of mouth cancer
What are the early warning signs of oral cancer?
A chronic sore throat, painful swallowing, and a lump in the neck are all classic symptoms of oral cancer. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately.
Our dentist at Razavi Dental Group staff in Philadelphia will provide high-quality care and guidance to answer all your dental health concerns. For more information about oral cancer, treatments, or supporting groups, please get in touch with our office.
Steps of oral cancer screening
Medical history: Your dentist will review your medical history to determine any risk factors for oral cancer, such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, sun exposure, or a family history of the disease.
Visual examination: The dentist will examine for any abnormalities or changes inside the mouth, including unexplained bleeding, white or red bumps or discolored tissue, swelling, and rough patches.
Physical examination: The dentist will feel the neck and jaw for any lumps or abnormalities.
Use of special instruments: In some cases, the dentist may use special devices such as a lighted mirror or a small brush to examine some mouth regions closely. If your dentist find abnormal tissue while performing examination, this may call for additional testing in the form of a biopsy. A little bit of the abnormal tissue will be cut out during this process and sent to the lab for more testing.
Referral to a specialist: Your dentist may refer you to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment if there is any suspected signs of oral cancer.
How is oral cancer prevented?
The best way to reduce the incidence oral cancer is to practice proper oral hygiene and get frequent dental check-ups. It is also critical to avoid smoke and alcohol and to protect your lips from sun exposure. In addition, regular oral cancer screenings are essential to maintaining excellent oral health, and early identification can significantly increase the chance of a successful treatment outcome.
Regular checkups with a caring dental team and good preventive habits are the keys to achieving and maintaining excellent oral health. You can protect your dental health and overall well-being by practicing excellent oral hygiene, reducing risk factors, and seeking medical assistance if you experience any symptoms.