Oral Cancer Screening: a Simple Test with a Big Impact

Oral Cancer Screening: a Simple Test with a Big Impact

April 1, 2023

Early screening for oral cancer helps medical professionals detect signs of cancer in your mouth. The professionals examined your cheek linings, gums, lips, floor and mouth roof, and tongue for lesions and abnormalities. If any suspicious lesions are noticed, they refer you to an oncologist for further assessment.

What Precisely Is Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral cancer screenings is an examination looking for signs of mouth, jaw, and tongue cancer. You don’t have to schedule separate appointments annually or earlier to get alerts of oral cancer identified in your mouth. Instead, your dentist performs the exam without you realizing it when you visit them for your routine biannual visits. The screenings need fewer than five minutes and are completed by the dentist even as you wonder why they are looking at other areas of your oral cavity than your teeth and gums.

During the screening, the dentist examines your cheek linings, floor and roof of the mouth, gums, lips, tongue, and tonsils, looking for red and white patches or abnormal lesions appearing suspicious to ensure nothing is wrong in your mouth. Undergoing an oral cancer test doesn’t mean you are affected by this devastating condition. On the contrary, it is merely an effort to ensure your safety by looking at all areas of your oral cavity for signs of unusual growths or lesions.

The Importance of Early Detection in Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer commonly affects people globally and usually occurs in the head and neck. Thousands of Canadians receive oral and oropharyngeal cancer diagnoses every year.

The five-year survival rate for oral cancer is merely 57 percent indicating a fraction more than half the people diagnosed with this problem live five years after a diagnosis. In addition, oral cancer is not challenging to diagnose, but the fatality rates are higher because the condition is detected too late after it develops. Therefore, oral cancer screenings are the optimal tool for diagnosing and treating oral cancer early.

The Benefits of Regular Cancer Screening in Maintaining Oral Health

Your dentist is a medical professional you see biannually for routine exams and cleanings, at which time you also receive mouth cancer screening. However, you will likely not consider visiting an oncologist to screen yourself for oral cancer because you, like everyone, think, “it can never happen to me.”

However, if you consider the statistics mentioned above, you will realize your chances of developing oral cancer are nearly a little over 50 percent. Therefore, receiving oral cancer screenings in Scarborough, ON, is beneficial, especially if you are in the high-risk category. Some elements that increase your risk of cancer include tobacco use regardless of the version, excessive alcohol consumption, history of significant sunlight exposure, and earlier oral cancer diagnosis.

Your risks of oral cancer increase if you have any STDs or human papillomavirus infection. People diagnosed with mouth and throat cancers are increasing over the last several years, although the reasons for the increase have not been identified.

Regular oral cancer screenings are beneficial because it is easier to detect mouth cancer or precancerous lesions early when they are comfortable to remove and most likely deliver positive outcomes. While no studies have proven that screening saves lives, you will benefit from the examination if you are in the high-risk category.

The most significant benefit of oral cancer screenings is that you receive the exam as a complementary gesture from your dentist at no additional costs to leave you with peace of mind knowing everything is fine with your mouth.

The screenings also benefit your oral health because they make you aware of the risks and encourage you to take preventive measures when considering the risk factors that make you vulnerable to oral cancer. In addition, the examination doesn’t help diagnose cancer, and the screening is just a means to look for signs of suspicious areas in your mouth that might become cancerous later. If the dentist detects unusual patterns in your mouth, they will refer you to a specialist with the infrastructure and technology to deal with these severe conditions and receive appropriate treatment, which might include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Oral cancer is common and affects the head and neck area. As fatality rates are frighteningly high, early diagnosis is crucial for timely treatment. Routine oral cancer screenings from your dentist in Scarborough, ON provide the best chances of detecting oral cancer early. You can ask your dentist how often you must undergo these exams for optimal health.

Finch East Dental Care performs oral cancer screenings on all adults visiting them for routine exams and cleanings as a preventive measure. Therefore, if you belong to the high-risk category, kindly visit them for a dental cleaning when you receive an oral cancer screening without additional charges.

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