Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Done?
Posted on 4/12/2021 by Lindsey Holt
|In 2020, an estimated 53,260 Americans were diagnosed with oral cancer. Oral cancer can be deadly but it can be cured if it is found at an early stage when the disease has not yet spread.
Unfortunately, it is difficult for most people to understand what the initial symptoms of oral cancer look like. That is why it is so crucial to always keep your dental appointments. At Singing River Dentistry, and offer you comprehensive dental exams that also include oral cancer screening for high-risk people.
However, just because we recommend an oral cancer screening to you, doesn't mean that you necessarily have oral cancer.
Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Important?
We perform oral cancer screening to look for precancerous and cancerous signs in your mouth. Oral cancer testing involves physical and visual examinations of the cheeks, gums, palate, the floor of the mouth, tongue, tonsils, and back of the throat.
We will start with the visual exam which involves looking for unusual signs like sores, lesions, red and white patches, unexplained bleeding, and color changes in your mouth.
In addition, we may ask you to rinse your mouth with a special de which can help make problematic tissues more visible.
After that, we will conduct a physical exam using gloved fingers to feel the texture of your mouth. We will be looking for lumps and nodules and tissues that are suspiciously rough and stiff, overly smooth, and/or have low mobility.
We will also feel under your jaw, the sides of your neck, and the sides of your nose as well.
Results of Oral Cancer Screening
If we find any unusual signs during the exam, we will ask you to come again in a few weeks and check if the issue is resolved. If it is not, we may do a biopsy of the suspicious tissue to check for cancer cells.
However, there is no need to panic. Just because we are ordering a biopsy doesn't mean you have cancer. Even if we find you have the disease, early treatment can help you fight it effectively.
An oral cancer screening takes only five minutes and it can give you peace of mind when it comes to your health.
If you have noticed unusual signs in your mouth or are interested in getting a precautionary oral cancer screening, call us today at 256-712-3549 to schedule an appointment.