Three Reasons Why You Should Get Oral Cancer Screening

Three Reasons Why You Should Get Oral Cancer Screening

June 1, 2021

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, oral cancer accounts for 30 percent of the oral cancer cases in the world. It affects approximately 53,000 people annually and causes about 9,000 deaths. These figures are alarming considering that the testing tools are available that can detect oral cancer on time. The OCF states that the reason for the high numbers is the delayed testing. That is why it is recommended that you get regular oral cancer screening.

While some people may be skeptical about getting screened, here are three reasons why you should consider oral cancer screening in Dundas, ON.

1. The Cases of Oral Cancer Cases Are Increasing

Oral cancer has long been assumed to be for older people, but recent reports have shown that young people are also being affected.

One of the contributing factors for this surge is the Human Papillomavirus. The HPV is linked to oral and neck cancer, and it is believed that one in every three people with cancer is due to the virus.

Other factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer include smoking, tobacco chewing, alcohol, medical history, and genetics.

2. Early Detection Increases Chances of Cancer Survival

Oral cancer is a silent disease, meaning it develops without obvious symptoms. It can take time for you to develop any symptoms and by the time you have any visible signs the disease will be well advanced can cause damage and also be fatal.

Some of the oral cancer symptoms that you can develop when the disease is in advanced stages include:

  • Painful mouth ulcers
  • Persistent lumps that occur without any cause
  • Loose teeth
  • Numbness of the lips

It is important to self-test and examines your mouth for any abnormal swelling. But, more than that, getting oral cancer screening increase the chances of the dentist detecting any growth and tumors.

3. The Oral Cancer Screening Process is Easy, Convenient, and Non-invasive

Our dentist will do your screening as part of your regular dental checkup and it lasts for a few minutes.  

The dentist will begin the process by doing a comprehensive medical and drug history. This is important in determining your risk level for developing oral cancer. The other tests that are done include:

  • Physical exam

This involves touching the head, cheek, jaw, oral cavity, and chin to check for any unusual growth and immobile tissues.

  • Visual exam

Next, the dentist will use a light and mirror to check the mouth, gums, cheeks, and palate for any bumps, lacerations, and patches of skin.

What Happens After the Procedure?

It is important to note that oral cancer screening is a precautionary step and not diagnostic. This means that you may need other tests if the dentist detects any abnormal tests. The most common test done is a biopsy, which involves removing a sample of the laceration for testing in the lab. The test is done to confirm if the tissues are cancerous or not. The procedure is painless because anesthesia is used and it takes a few minutes.

Are There Any Risks of Oral Cancer Screening?

While oral cancer is effective, it does not detect all cancers. If you have small precancerous cells, the visual and physical exams may not detect them and increase the risk of them advancing. Despite that, it is vital to get screened if you are at risk.

What Are the Treatment Options?

Oral cancer treatment depends on the location or the stage of cancer. The doctor may recommend one or multiple treatments, which include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

Surgery may also be done to remove the tumor or reconstruct the mouth and increase your ability to speak properly.

Is Oral Cancer Preventable?

Oral cancer can be preventable and it is also treatable if detected early. You can reduce your risk by:

  • Quit smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Using sunscreen on your lips when you are going outside under the sun
  • Eat nutritious foods

Schedule an Appointment

Visit Royal East Dental for more information on oral cancer causes and symptoms and how you can prevent it.

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