Oral Cancer Screening

Oral Cancer Screening: Saving Lives Through the Mouth

Oral cancer screening is an examination or process which a doctor or dentist carries out in search of signs of precancerous conditions or cancer in your mouth. The term ‘screening’ has to do with the search for cancer even before the patient begins to show any symptoms. When this exercise is carried out on time, it could lead to the discovery of cancer at a very early stage. When cancer or any form of abnormal tissue is found early, the chances of treating the ailment successfully is excellent. This is the primary goal of oral cancer screening. But if signs of cancer remain undiscovered and the symptoms begin to show, it may have metastasized to other parts of the body.

When you visit your local dentist, the practitioner may examine your mouth when screening for oral cancer. Don’t be surprised if additional tests are carried out by the dentist in order to identify areas with abnormal cell growth in your mouth.

The United States of America alone, accounts for more than 48,000 cases of squamous cell carcinoma of the pharynx and oral cavity, with over 9,000 deaths recorded every year. The unfortunate this is that the diagnosis for this oral cancer relies one hundred percent on the patient’s willingness to present himself/herself for physical examination or oral cancer screening. This could be accompanied by biopsy confirmation which, in turn, could lead to delay in diagnosing the ailment as a result of making the discovery when it is almost too late.

This has led to intense research by scientists to find out which people tend to get oral cancer as well as the things we eat or do which may bring about the dreaded disease. When such information is collated and submitted to medical practitioners, they are in the best position to analyze the information and recommend the patient to undergo oral cancer screening. The data will also help them to determine which screening tests the patient should submit to as well as how regularly such tests should be performed.

The fact that healthy-looking individuals who do not have any risk factors relating to mouth cancer should go for oral cancer screening is controversial in the medical world. Up until this moment, no single oral test is powerful enough to minimize the risk of dying of cancer of the oral cavity. This means that it is left to you and your dentist to decide whether or not, you should undergo a special test or oral cancer screening based on your genetic makeup or personal history.

Preventing oral cancer is possible if you are well-informed about your risk factors. The menfolk have been observed to have double the likelihood of getting oral cancer, especially as when they start aging. Individuals that smoke, drink alcoholic beverages excessively and have a poor diet are more likely to develop oral cancer.

If you have also had oral cancer before, the chances of a recurrence are very high. Therefore, you need to continually visit your local dentist and perform oral cancer screening from time to time in order to prevent a relapse.