Oral Cancer Screening: Early Detection and Treatment

Oral Cancer Screening: Early Detection and Treatment

May 1, 2023

Dentists or doctors perform oral cancer screening to identify early signs of cancer or precancerous issues in the mouth. For example, oral cancer screening aims to identify mouth cancer early when the chances of a cure are significant.

You don’t have to schedule separate appointments with oncologists to receive oral cancer screenings. Instead, your dentist will screen during your six monthly visits to identify signs of oral cancer because they are the professionals you meet most often. In addition, some dentists use additional tests to help identify areas of abnormal cells in your mouth.

Healthy people without risk factors of mouth cancer do not need oral cancer screening, state many medical organizations. They contend that a single oral exam screening cannot reduce the risk of fatalities from oral cancer. However, you can discuss the screening with your dentist or special tests after evaluating your risk factors to determine whether you will benefit from oral cancer screenings near me.

Why Are Oral Cancer Screenings Performed?

Oral cancer screenings aim to detect mouth cancer or precancerous indicators that might result in mouth cancer early. Cancer and its lesions are easy to remove and cure when identified early.

Studies haven’t confirmed that oral cancer screening helps preserve lives making many organizations disagree about the benefits of this oral exam. Some groups recommend screening, while others contend sufficient evidence isn’t available to make a recommendation.

If you are at high risk of cancer, you will likely benefit from oral cancer screenings in Farmington, NY, when you visit them for your six-monthly dental appointments. The screening exams are not scary and are completed by the dentist within five minutes before you realize why the dentist is looking at areas of your oral cavity unrelated to your teeth and gums. However, if you are a user of excessive tobacco and alcohol, have significant sunlight exposure, or had an earlier oral cancer diagnosis you are at a higher risk of oral cancer and can adopt preventive measures to ensure this devastating condition doesn’t affect you.

What to Expect During Oral Cancer Screenings?

During oral cancer screenings, your dentist will examine your mouth insides, checking for red and white patches or mouth sores. They will use gloved hands to feel the teachers in your mouth, checking for lumps and abnormalities. Your throat and neck also undergo a similar examination for lumps.

How to Prepare for Oral Cancer Screening?

Scheduling an appointment with your dentist is all that is required to prepare for oral cancer screening. The examinations are routinely performed during regular dental appointments for exams and cleanings as a complementary gesture by dentists because they are the professionals you meet most frequently. In reality, you don’t realize that the dentist is examining your mouth for oral cancer and will only know about it if you discuss the examination with a professional.

Additional Tests

When performing oral cancer screening, some dentists might use special tests besides your exams, although it is not clear whether the tests offer additional benefits over the oral exam. For example, the unique tests might involve rinsing your mouth with a special blue dye before the exam to make abnormal cells in your mouth appear blue.

Dentists also use a screening light by shining it in your mouth because it makes healthy tissue appear darker and abnormal cells whiter.

Results of Oral Cancer Screening Tests

If your dentist discovers signs of oral cancer or precancerous lesions, they will recommend a follow-up visit in a few weeks to identify whether the abnormal area still exists in your mouth and verify whether it has changed or expanded.

They might recommend a biopsy procedure to remove some cells from your mouth for laboratory testing to identify the presence of oral cancer cells. The dentist might perform the biopsy or refer you to a specialist with training in oral cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Detecting signs of oral cancer and treating it in the initial stages delivers optimal outcomes. Scheduling separate appointments is not necessary when getting yourself screened for mouth cancer. As long as you are diligent with your dental hygiene regimen and schedule six monthly appointments with your dentist, you receive the screening during your routine visit. Best of all, it is a complementary gesture by the dentist charging you no extra fees for the examination.

Mark DiMartino, DDS, performs oral cancer screenings on all patients visiting them for routine exams and cleanings. If you haven’t received your routine dental exam, arrange a dentist appointment with them to receive oral cancer screening near you if exposed to the risk factors.

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