Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer impacts tens of thousands of new people every year and it is a serious affliction. Free oral cancer screenings are offered as a part of a patient’s routine check-ups. This is just one of the many specialty services our office makes available to our patients.
What is an Oral Cancer Screening?
An oral cancer screening is a procedure that helps detect the presence of oral cancer in a patient. Oral cancer typically starts out as an unnoticed, tiny red or white sore or spot in the mouth. Oral cancer can appear in any area of the oral cavity which includes the tongue, the soft or hard palate, cheek lining, the lips, and gum tissue. A regular oral cancer screening as a part of your standard dental check-ups is vital to detecting pre-cancerous and cancerous conditions.
Why Should I Get an Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer can be a life threatening disease—especially if left untreated. Oral cancer screenings are crucial to detecting and treating oral cancer. Typically, patients have a better chance of overcoming oral cancer as a result of regular oral cancer screenings. The earlier the oral cancer is detected, the more likely the treatment options are to be effective in treating the oral cancer. Although we recommend that all of our patients undergo oral cancer screenings, the following patients are considered to be more at risk for oral cancer:
- Heavy tobacco users.
- Heavy alcohol users.
- Patients who have previously had oral cancer.
How is the Oral Cancer Screening Performed?
An oral cancer screening takes roughly five minutes and it is offered as part of the routine check-ups given to our patients. Here are the basic steps involved with an oral cancer screening:
- The dentist explains the screening process to you and what exactly they’ll be looking for.
- The dentist examines the lips, tongue, and oral cavity of the patient.
- The dentist looks for signs of oral cancer by looking for masses, lesions, and similar issues.