Oral Cancer Screening Importance
Cancer is, sadly, the leading cause of death in the world. It is one of the most feared diseases in the world.Most people often lose hope when diagnosed with any form of cancer. Recently, oral cancer has been on the rise, and it is causing havoc just like other types of cancer.
You don’t need to lose hope, though. The disease is still treatable if it is diagnosed at the right time. The only way to catch the disease early is through regular oral cancer checkups. Our Encinitas dentist
conducts oral cancer checkups, and we can make plans for you to get screenings during your dental exams.
The oral cancer screening procedure
is safe, and you will not take long in the dental clinic. What’s more, the procedure is as painless as dental procedures. The dentist will not even need to use anesthesia, meaning you can drive yourself home.
Oral Cancer Screening Procedure
The dentist will examine your mouth, looking for signs of mouth or tongue cancer
. The dentist knows these signs, and if he sees a few, he might suggest other tests to confirm or disregard the presence of oral cancer. After examining the mouth, the dentist will inspect your skull and neck as oral cancer can spread to those areas.
Typically, the dentist uses his hands (in gloves, of course) to feel any abnormalities in the tissues in your mouth or lumps on your neck. If he notices any abnormalities, he might suggest taking a common test for oral cancer that involves the use of a special liquid. He will ask you to sip the drink and rinse your mouth with it. If it changes color to blue, it might be because you have oral cancer. Other dentists use special lights to diagnose oral cancer.
If you are diagnosed with the disease, don’t panic. There is always a chance of recovery, especially if the infection is still in its early stages. Your dentist will recommend the best doctors for oral cancer
to help you get the best possible care. There are several treatments for oral cancer, and the right one for you will depend on your specific situation.
Signs of Oral Cancer
While most people only realize they have cancer when it is too late, there are a few signs you could be on the lookout for. Typically, these signs are often signs of other infections too. Therefore, don’t panic and conclude you have oral cancer if you notice some of the following signs:
- Eroded lips
- Losing weight for no particular reason
- Unexplained pain in one or both ears.
- Swollen gums and lips
- Difficulty chewing food and feeling pain in your jaws
- Bleeding gums.
- Your dentures are failing to fit.
- Persistent sores on your face, mouth, or neck that go away and comes back consistently
- Visible change of tissue in the mouth
If you notice any of the above signs, don’t automatically assume you have oral cancer. Instead, keep a 14-day timeline to assess the signs. If they are consistent, it will be wise to get screened as soon as possible. If they are not consistent, you could wait until your routine dental visit to get a screening.
Importance of Routine Oral Cancer Screenings
Getting a screening regularly during your routine dental visits is quite important because of the following reasons.
- Oral cancer is on the rise and not only a disease for the old and smokers. Anyone can get an infection because of HPV. Getting regular screenings is the only way to stay on the safe side and increase the chances of getting treatment in case you’re diagnosed.
- The mortality rate of oral cancer is very high. Getting treated can save your life. You can increase the chances of getting treated by getting diagnosed early.
- The whole procedure is fast, safe, and inexpensive.
Prevention of Oral Cancer
While no one is immune to oral cancer, you can reduce the risk of getting the infection by observing the following precautionary practices:
- Quit smoking and using any tobacco products.
- Avoid taking alcohol in excess.
- Get a vaccine against HPV, the leading cause of the infection.
- Maintain proper oral hygiene and visit the dentist every six months for checkups and cancer screenings.
Please don’t wait for far too long before taking oral cancer screening seriously. It is a fast and safe procedure, but it can save your life in the long run. We are here for you if you are looking for oral cancer screening in Encinitas.