Oral Cancer Screening
To prevent the development of oral cancer, Summit Dental Care offers oral cancer screenings for all patients. This necessary test can trigger early treatment if a malignant tumor is detected, and early action can possibly stop the escalation of oral cancer. The earlier cancer is detected, the better the chances are of eradicating it. Our office offers oral cancer screenings during regular check-ups, and oral cancer screenings should be performed on all patients at least once every three years. However, patients who detect lumps between routine visits are urged to contact our team and have an oral cancer screening, if for no other reason than to rule out the possibility of a malignant tumor.
How Is an Oral Cancer Screening done?
Oral cancer screenings can be done during a patient's regular dental appointment, as they only take two minutes. It is a visual and physical test in which our dentist will examine the tissue in and around the patient's oral cavity. Our professionals check for abnormal lumps that could be indicative of oral cancer. Oral cancer lumps may appear in the mouth, and they can also emerge under the chin, on the lips, around the nose, and on the cheeks. Our team will check all of these areas to ensure a thorough oral cancer screening. A tongue depressor, light, and mirror will be used when investigating the oral cavity. If the patient has come in with a lump they have noticed, our dentist will investigate that first. Even when a lump has been confirmed by a dentist, lumps are often benign, and the detection of a lump is not necessarily an indication of cancer. Further testing will need to take place. If it is cancer, then the patient has done the right thing by coming in as soon as possible, as we can trigger treatment immediately.
How Can I Reduce My Risk of Oral Cancer?
Reducing the risk of oral cancer is the best preventive measure a patient can take via advice from our professionals. Lifestyle choices, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, should be reduced in order to limit risk. An evaluation of a patient's family's medical history can give us an indication of the likelihood of them developing oral cancer, and therefore how closely we should be monitoring their condition.
HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a sexually transmitted disease that has been known to increase the chance of developing oral cancer. By practicing safe sex practices or abstinence, our patients can reduce their risk of developing oral cancer. Patients over the age of 20 should be tested for oral cancer once every three years, whereas patients over the age of 40 should be tested once every year. An oral cancer screening can be done during a regular dental appointment.
Summit Dental Care offers oral cancer screenings to all its patients to trigger early treatment if need be, or to ensure the continuation of good oral health. Lumps are not a guarantee of cancer and can often be benign. However, it is important to have lumps checked by a professional. To book your oral cancer screening, contact our office at 206-292-9980.