According to the American Cancer Society, there has been a steady increase in oral cancer cases, particularly occurring in males above 40 years, without any identifiable risk factors. Oral Cancer has been termed as one of the killer diseases in the world today. However, early detection of cancerous cells in your mouth can lead to successful treatment. That’s why dentists recommend routine oral cancer screening to examine precancerous conditions in your mouth. Early detection is the best way to reduce the risk of oral cancer and you must make detection and prevention a priority in your life.
A five-minute mouth cancer screening during a routine dental visit can help identify precancerous conditions early when there is a great chance of cure. Oral cancer screening at a dentist’s office starts with a clinical examination of your throat and mouth. Your dentist will use a mirror, tongue depressor, and light to check for any kind of abnormality such as swelling, ulcerations, bumps, and patches of color. He will also palpate your neck, jaw, outside cheeks and under the chin to feel any unusual firm nodules or masses.
What is Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer screening is a type of dental health examination that aims to check for any precancerous condition in your mouth. This test is more focused on the tooth cavity, to examine various types of cancer.
On several occasions, the screening is performed by a qualified dentist, because he/she can frequently access your mouth. This test can be done during your regular dental checkups, especially if your dentist finds an abnormality in your mouth. However, other health professionals can examine you for the same with the objective of detecting the presence of any cancerous cells in your mouth.
Know More About Oral Cancer
Oral cancer, also referred to as mouth cancer, occurs as a sore or growth in your mouth that doesn’t go away. Such sores or tumors may develop on the surface of your tongue, inside the cheeks, palate, gums and lips. Oral cancer can be life-threatening if not treated and diagnosed early.
The most common system of mouth cancer includes :
- Painful mouth ulcers that don’t heal within several weeks.
- Persistent, unexplained lumps in your neck or mouth that don’t go away.
- Unexplained bleeding in your mouth.
- Dramatic weight loss
- Ear pain
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
One of the major risk factors for oral cancer is alcohol and tobacco use. This includes smoking cigars, pipes, and cigarettes, as well as chewing tobacco. Other risk factors include poor nutrition, genetic syndromes, weakened immune system, a previous oral cancer diagnosis, age, and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection.
As part of your regular dental exam, your dentist will perform an oral cancer screening examination. He understands what a healthy mouth should appear like and has the best likelihood of identifying any signs of cancer. Because mouth cancer can spread quickly, early detection is crucial. The oral screening for cancer is painless and takes only five to ten minutes.
When oral cancer is noticed early, it can be treated either with radiation therapy or surgery. Your dentist may first perform a surgical operation to get rid of any cancerous growth, followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy to eliminate any remaining cancerous cells.
Benefits of Dental Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer is a serious, scary, and dangerous disease that can impact your health, and ultimately result in death. Though mouth cancer screening at a dentist’s office may seem unnecessary, they are crucial for reasons such as :
1. Early Detection of Oral Cancer
Experts in oral cancer treatment say that the early diagnosis of cancerous cells in your mouth greatly increases the chances of cure with minimum deformity and impairment. More than 80% of dental cancer cases can be caught early by a qualified and experienced dentist. When detected early, you have a high probability of getting a cure as opposed to waiting till later stages. At Fitzgerald Dentistry, we have numerous methods of catching early signs of mouth cancer with the latest, state-of-the-art technology.
2. Mouth Cancer Screening Can Save Your Life
Dental screenings for oral cancer make it easier to detect the disease at the early stages of its development, which can save your life. The sooner you identify the signs, the higher your odds of curing cancer. Without such screenings, it would be impossible to understand your risk factors level regarding mouth cancer.
3. Prevention is Better Than Cure
The best way to prevent mouth cancer is through routine screenings during your dental checkups. A dental cancer screening session may help you to know if you are free from cancer. However, this will present a good opportunity for your dentist to highlight what you can do to prevent mouth cancer, particularly if you are an at-risk patient.
Who Needs an Oral Cancer Examination?
Certain people have a higher risk of developing mouth cancers than others. For instance, those with poor dental hygiene as well as males or females who are above 40 years. Generally, anyone can benefit from regular oral cancer screenings at the dentist’s office. Knowing that you don’t have a scary mouth cancer disease can help you improve your health. However, folks with an increased risk of dental cancer are encouraged to consider regular examination sessions. Such people include:
- Heavy drinkers: Alcoholism increases your chances of getting mouth cancer.
- Smokers: Cigarettes not only destroy your lungs but also puts you at high risk of oral cancer.
- A previous cancer diagnosis: If you have been previously diagnosed with cancer, particularly of the mouth, the chances of contracting it again are high.
Get The Right Oral Cancer Screening Services in Murfreesboro TN Today
If you are searching for “oral cancer screening near me” in Murfreesboro TN, then Dr. William Fitzgerald, DDS will be glad to help you. At Fitzgerald Dentistry, we want to assist you to take good care of your teeth and mouth. Oral cancer screenings are part of every procedure we perform. The sooner you come for mouth cancer screening, the more you will be able to improve your overall health.
If you require screening services for oral cancer in Murfreesboro, book an appointment online or call us at 615-896-7592 for help today.