What is Oral Cancer Screening: Importance, Procedure & Benefits
Cancer is a disease that affects people of all ages from different walks of life. There are various types of cancers affecting different parts of the body. The type that affects the mouth is known as oral cancer. It can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated immediately after it develops. Continue reading to learn about the importance of oral cancer screening in Carrollwood, FL.
What is Oral Cancer Screening?
It is an examination for symptoms of cancer or precancerous conditions in the mouth. This exam aims to identify cancers of the mouth at an early stage when they are more curable. Oral cancer screening is performed by our dentist at 33618 during routine dental checkups every six months. However, certain risk factors can increase the frequency of the screenings.
Why Do You Need Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer can be fatal if not diagnosed and treated in its early stages. Statistics show that half of the people with mouth cancer live for about five years. This is because most of them get diagnosed when the disease is in its advanced stage and hard to treat. So, visiting a dentist for oral cancer screening service near you is very important.
Although anyone can get oral cancer, some people are more likely to get it than others. Those with increased risks of the disease need frequent oral cancer exams. They include people:
- Who use tobacco products
- With heavy alcohol consumption
- With a family history of cancer
- Previously exposed to the human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Who work outside and get over-exposed to the sun
- With a weakened immune system
What is the Step-By-Step Procedure to get Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer screening is a straightforward procedure done in a few minutes. In addition, there are no preparations necessary before the exam. Below are the steps you can expect during oral cancer screening:
- First, our dentist in Carrollwood, FL will inquire about lifestyle habits like smoking and alcohol use. They will then discuss your oral and overall health, including its history. Next, they will ask if you have noticed lumps in your mouth or neck, persistent sore throat, or chronic sores. In addition, they will ask if you have voice changes or difficulty swallowing.
- They will examine your mouth, jawline, and neck through a technique called palpation. It involves feeling the tissues to check for lumps or other abnormalities.
- Our dentist will then request you to open your mouth wide and look inside for signs of cancerous tissues. These include red or white patches, swellings or bumps, mouth sores, and crusted spots on the gums and lips.
- They will check your salivary glands and the tongue for inflammation or swelling. In addition, they will check your tonsillar area and throat for lesions or irritation.
- If our dentist at 33618 notices any issues during the physical exam, they will perform additional tests. They may use a special cancer screening dye that makes abnormal tissues appear blue. Alternatively, the expert may use a unique screening light. It makes cancerous tissues appear white and healthy ones white.
- If the tests indicate the presence of cancerous tissues, our dentist will do a biopsy. It involves removing a small part of the tissue and examining it thoroughly in a lab. Our dentist will recommend suitable treatment if you have mouth cancer.
What are the Benefits of Getting Oral Cancer Screening?
Here are the prominent benefits of getting oral cancer screening:
- Getting screened for oral cancer helps our dentist detect the disease early. This allows them to treat it successfully. It also helps prevent uncomfortable symptoms when the disease progresses.
- When the diagnosis shows positive results, you will receive treatment immediately. This saves you money since treating early-stage cancer is less expensive than treating advanced cancer.
- Oral cancer screening is fast and can be done during routine dental exams.
- The procedure is non-invasive and pain-free without adverse side effects.
- The screening is affordable and easy to schedule. It is usually part of your routine dental exams.
- People with a high risk of developing oral cancer can live more confidently. Regular screenings help them become aware of their condition and seek treatment when necessary.
Get Oral Cancer Screening Near You
Anyone can get oral cancer. However, the risk increases with age, lifestyle habits, genetics, and weakened immunity. Reduce your chances of developing advanced mouth cancer by going for an oral cancer screening service near you. Contact us at Bay Premier Dentistry to schedule an oral cancer screening in Carrollwood, FL!