Besides providing dental exams, we also provide screenings for oral cancer. This often leads people to ask how they can reduce their cancer risk. Below are some cancer facts that will help you better understand how to improve your oral health and find out more about the disease.
Oral Cancer Facts
Usually, men are twice as likely as women to get oral cancer. While the number of people in their 50's with oral cancer continues to grow, patients as young as 20 can also be diagnosed. If you survive oral cancer the first time, you have an increased risk of developing a second related cancer. This risk can span over a 10-year period.
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening?
During a screening for oral cancer, we look inside the mouth to check for white or red patches as well as for mouth sores. In addition, we check the tissues inside the mouth for abnormalities or lumps. We may also check the neck and the throat for lumps. In some cases, special tests, such as screening dyes are used. For example, patients rinse their mouth with a blue dye before their dental exam. If abnormal cells appear in the mouth, they will appear blue. A screening light may also be used during an oral cancer screening and exam. The light causes any healthy tissue to appear dark and abnormal or cancerous tissue to look white.
If we do find something abnormal, we will ask you to schedule a follow-up visit, or we will arrange a biopsy to make a further check. If a follow-up visit is arranged, we will see if the abnormalities still exist. A biopsy permits us to take a cell sample to make a diagnosis or confirm our findings. If you would like to schedule an oral cancer screening, contact our office. We offer screenings during appointments for cleanings and checkups. Contact us today for the details.
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