Thousands of people, sadly, die from oral cancer every year. Regular oral cancer screenings can save your life because there is a high success rate of treating the cancer if it is detected at an early stage.
Dentists are trained to look for the tell-tale signs of oral cancer and early detection is essential in giving you the best possible chance of beating it.
What happens during the screening process?
Oral cancer can develop in various parts of the mouth including the gum, palate, tongue, lips and even the throat. During examination, the dentist will look for different types of lesions around the mouth. If the lesions look troublesome or unnatural, then further investigation must take place.
Checking for Abnormal Cells
The next step in the process is to determine if there are any abnormal cells in the tissue that may potentially develop into cancer. This can be done in a number of ways including using staining, the abnormal cells will show up as a different shade than healthy ones, a procedure called exfoliative cytology which involves collecting cells from the area and looking at them under a microscope, and finally a brush biopsy with them again viewed under a microscope.
Please note: Screening will not initially be able to inform you as to how widespread the cancer actually is and nor will it tell you the stage of the disease, but it does at least show that there is or is not a problem so correct treatment can begin to be explored.
Please See Your Dentist Regularly
Having regular oral cancer screenings is important to your health. If you have any questions about oral cancer, please call us at 713-523-6848.