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Oral Cancer Screening

Comprehensive screenings to identify early signs of oral cancer, ensuring timely treatment.

Introduction to Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer screening is a vital procedure that helps in the early detection of cancerous and precancerous conditions in the mouth. The primary goal is to identify oral cancer early, when there is a higher chance for a cure. Most dentists perform an examination of your mouth during a routine dental visit to screen for oral cancer, looking for any signs of abnormal tissue.

Benefits of Oral Cancer Screening

  • Early Detection: Screening can detect oral cancer early, often before symptoms are apparent, increasing the likelihood of successful treatment.
  • Quick and Non-Invasive: The screening is usually quick, painless, and performed during a routine dental examination, requiring no additional preparation or procedure.
  • Potential to Save Lives: By catching cancer early or detecting precancerous lesions that might become malignant, screenings can be lifesaving.

Who Should Get Screened for Oral Cancer?

While oral cancer screenings are part of a routine dental visit, certain people are at higher risk and may need more frequent or comprehensive screenings:

  • Tobacco Users: Any form of tobacco, from cigarettes to chewing tobacco, significantly increases the risk.
  • Heavy Alcohol Users: Those who consume alcohol heavily are at an elevated risk.
  • Previous Oral Cancer Diagnosis: Individuals who have been previously treated for oral cancer are at a higher risk of developing it again.
  • Excessive Sun Exposure: Particularly for those who have had excessive exposure to the sun, which can increase the risk of lip cancer.

What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening?

The screening process typically involves the following steps:

  1. Visual Inspection: The dentist will look over the inside of your mouth to check for red or white patches or mouth sores. Using a mirror and light, they will also check the throat and tonsils.
  2. Physical Examination: The dentist will feel the tissues in your mouth to check for lumps or other abnormalities. This might also include feeling the external area of your neck and jaw.
  3. Additional Tests: Some dentists might use special tests in addition to the physical examination, although these are less common.

Post-Screening Follow-Up

If your dentist finds any signs of oral cancer or precancerous lesions, they may recommend a biopsy procedure, where a sample of tissue is removed and sent to a laboratory for a closer examination. Depending on the results, further treatment may be necessary.

Schedule Your Oral Cancer Screening

Regular oral cancer screenings are an essential part of maintaining not just your oral health, but your overall health. Contact us today to schedule your screening and ensure that your mouth remains healthy and cancer-free.

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