Oral Cancer Screening is a dental procedure performed by your dentist during your routine dental checkup. This examination is performed to determine the early signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in the mouth.
Early detection of oral cancer increases the chance for cure. In this blog, you will obtain detailed information on oral cancer screening.
Purpose of Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening aims to detect early symptoms of mouth cancer or precancerous conditions that could lead to cancer. It helps in eliminating it at the time they can be removed easily. People who are vulnerable to oral cancers are the ones:
- Who use tobacco by smoking cigarettes, pipes, and cigars; chewing tobacco; and snuffing with others
- Who consumes alcohol regularly
- Who was diagnosed with oral cancer previously
- Who has a history of sun exposure
Hence, if you are concerned with such risks, it is recommended to consult the doctor for ways to improve those risks and determine the type of screening test for you.
What to Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening?
During the examination, the dentist inspects the inside of your mouth for red or white patches or mouth sores. They touch the tissues of your mouth for lumps or other abnormalities. They also examine the throat and neck to detect any lumps in them.
Sometimes, additional tests are conducted in which:
- They would ask you to rinse your mouth with a special blue dye before the process. It helps them to detect the abnormal cells as they consume the dye and will appear blue.
- They also use light in your mouth. This light makes the healthy tissue appear dark while the abnormal tissue would look white.
If the dentist detects any signs of cancer or precancerous lesions, they would recommend that you:
- For a follow-up visit for a few weeks to see if the abnormalities are still present and to determine whether it has grown or reduced.
- For a biopsy procedure, in which a sample of your cells is sent for testing. This test is performed to determine the presence of a cancer cell. The procedure will either be performed by your dentist or by specialists recommended by your dentist.
In case you are diagnosed as having this problem, consult your dentist immediately about the cure and strategies to kick out the habits responsible for the disease. Also, you don’t have to be prepared for the screening process as it is performed during your routine dental checkup.
Diagnosing oral cancer at an early stage can assure that you will receive life-saving adequate treatment on time. Tod Anderson DDS offers advanced oral cancer screening exams in Los Gatos, CA. For more details and appointments, call us at (408) 540-7813, book online, or visit us at 14475 S Bascom Ave, Los Gatos, CA 95032.