Being vigilant about cancer and other diseases is important, and one more thing that you should familiarize yourself with is oral cancer screenings. This is especially important if you have a history of cancer (oral or not) in your family. The thought of oral cancer screenings might be scary at first, but the more important thing is to do an early screening! Here’s what you need to know about it.
Early Detection, Greater Chances for a Cure
Oral cancer screening is when a doctor or a dentist checks your mouth for signs of precancerous or cancerous conditions. If this is done earlier and oral cancer is indeed detected, you will have a much higher chance of being cured.
Oral cancer screening is done following routine dental checkups. Your dentist will check the inside part of your mouth for any suspicious looking sores or red and white patches. He will feel the tissues inside your mouth to check for lumps as well as other abnormalities. If there are any other concerns then your dentist might employ additional tests to check for abnormal cells that reside in your mouth.
While it doesn’t necessarily follow that every single person should undergo oral cancer screenings, you should definitely look into it if any of the following applies to you:
- You use tobacco – by smoking cigarettes, pipes and cigars, chewing it, etc.
- You are a heavy drinker of alcoholic beverages
- You have a history of substantial sun exposure (this can increase your risk of developing lip cancer)
If there are signs of cancerous or even pre-cancerous lesions, your dentist may ask you to come back in a couple of weeks to see if there are changes to the abnormal area or if is still at all present. A biopsy may be in order to determine the presence of cancer cells, but the first step really is to get screened early.
If you’re interested in getting an oral cancer screening, call us at (734) 421-2675 so we can make arrangements for you.