Are Oral Cancer Screenings An Essential Requirement?

Are Oral Cancer Screenings An Essential Requirement?

Jan 01, 2021

Doctors and dentists perform oral cancer screenings and examinations, looking for signs of cancer or precancerous lesions in your mouth. The aim of oral cancer screening is to detect mouth cancer early when treating it successfully is higher.

The dentist in Burlington performs oral cancer screenings during your routine dental visit. Some professionals use additional tests to help identify areas of abnormal cells in your mouth.

Many medical bodies don’t agree with whether healthy people without risk factors for mouth cancer should undergo oral cancer screening. Perhaps they rely on information that no screening tests or exams for oral cancer have proven effective in reducing the risk of succumbing to oral cancer. However, you and your dentist can decide on an oral exam or special tests after considering your risk factors.

Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Performed?

Oral Cancer Screening in Burlington, ON, is performed to detect mouth cancer or precancerous lesions that may result in oral cancer early when these conditions are most comfortable to remove and cure. Genuinely no research is available to prove oral cancer screening can save lives and is perhaps the reason why many organizations disagree about the benefits of an oral exam for cancer screening. Some are in favor of the exams, while others claim sufficient evidence isn’t available to suggest a recommendation.

If you are at a high risk of oral cancer, you are likely to benefit from oral cancer screening performed by a dentist, although no evidence is available to prove it. Your chances of becoming susceptible to oral cancer increase if:

  • You have a history of significant exposure to sunlight, which results in lip cancer.
  • You use tobacco in various forms or consume alcohol excessively.
  • You had an oral cancer diagnosis earlier.

Over the last several years, the number of people diagnosed with mouth and throat cancers has risen significantly, although no reasons are available for the same. A significant number of the cancers detected are associated with the HPV virus, which is sexually transmitted.

If you are worried about your cancer risk, you can discuss with your doctor how you can reduce your risk and inquire about the screening tests appropriate for your needs.

The Limitations of oral cancer screening

The exams for oral cancer has certain limitations, which are mentioned below.

Additional tests may be required after oral cancer screening because many people have sores in their mouths, but a significant number of the sores or noncancerous. An oral exam can differentiate between cancerous and noncancerous sores. If your dentist detects any abnormal sore, you may have to undergo further testing from an oral cancer specialist near you to determine whether you have oral cancer and to remove the abnormal cells to have them tested.

Oral cancer screening doesn’t detect all mouth cancers because it can be challenging to identify areas where abnormal cells are located merely by looking at the mouth. The chances of any cancerous or precancerous lesions going undetected remain high.

Oral cancer screening hasn’t proven effective in saving lives. There is no evidence that routine oral exams are looking for signs of oral cancer and the fatalities caused by this condition. However, the screening may help detect cancer early when the chances of a cure are more likely.

Preparing for Oral Cancer Screening

No special preparation is needed for oral cancer screening. Your dentist performs the examinations during a routine dental appointment. The dentist performs oral cancer screening by looking at the inside of your mouth, checking for signs of red and white patches or mouth sores. They may also feel the tissues in your mouth with gloved hands checking for lumps or other abnormalities. Your neck and throat are also examined for lumps by the dentist.

If your dentist detects any signs of oral cancer or precancerous lesions, they may recommend:

A follow-up visit in a few weeks to determine if the abdominal area is still present and verify whether it has grown or changed over time.

The dentist may perform a biopsy taking a sample of cells for laboratory testing to determine whether cancer cells are present in your mouth. You may also be referred to a doctor specializing in oral cancer diagnosis for the biopsy.

Oral cancer screening is a preventive measure performed by dentists to ensure you are not affected by any severe issues early. The screening aims not to scare you but is to ensure you don’t have any abnormal growths in your mouth.

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