Oral Cancer Screening
Cancer can be very serious, and you should take no risks. The professionals at South Austin Dental can perform oral cancer checks to make sure you are safe.
To check for signs of oral cancer or precancerous conditions, we perform oral cancer screening examinations. While it’s arguable whether everyone should have regular oral cancer screenings, they are particularly recommended to people with risk factors, such as smoking, chewing tobacco, significant alcohol consumption or a history of oral cancer.
The goal of performing oral cancer screening examinations is the early detection of oral cancer. This helps maximize the likelihood of good treatment outcomes and helps prevent cancer by educating the patient and initiating lifestyle changes that reduce oral cancer risks.
What the Procedure Involves
Using gloves, the patient’s mouth is checked for abnormal tissue, lumps, red or white spots, and sores. We can also use special tests such as using a dye or a special light inside the patient’s mouth to illuminate better and highlight any irregular tissue. If anything suspicious is found, we can further investigate with a biopsy, or schedule a follow-up visit to see if the abnormal tissue is still present at a later time.
About Oral Cancer
While oral cancer is not a very common disease, it is a difficult one to manage, and it can have serious consequences, with a 20% fatality rate five years after diagnosis. It is thus best to catch it early and try to prevent it by leading a healthy lifestyle.
Oral Cancer primarily occurs among men (75%) and the primary risk factors for the disease are tobacco and alcohol use. The human papillomavirus may also play a role, particularly in cancers of the pharynx.
If oral cancer is diagnosed, the primary treatment options are surgery for the removal of tumors and the use of radiation and chemotherapy to kill cancerous cells and stop them from spreading throughout the body.
Should You Go Through an Oral Cancer Screening?
The US Preventive Services Task Forces undertook a study of Oral Cancer Screening and concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to establish the effectiveness of screening. Nonetheless, the organization recommends you take into consideration your health and your lifestyle. If you have any health issues that predispose you to oral cancer, lead an unhealthy lifestyle with one or multiple risk factors for oral cancer, or if you have a history of cancer or oral issues, you may want to get regularly checked.
Oral cancer screening can be done as part of your routine dental check, and there is no reason you should avoid it. We will ask you about your medical history and together decide the best course of action for the prevention and treatment of oral health issues.
If you have any further questions about oral cancer and how to prevent it, contact us whenever you are ready at South Austin Dental at (512) 441-8922. Our team of experienced professionals knows exactly what to look for and what to do if a cancer is found.