The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings

Jan 01, 2022

Cancer can be a devastating disease. Cancer affecting the tissues of the neck, mouth, and throat is termed oral cancer. Numerous factors can trigger the uncontrolled multiplication of cells, leading to abnormal growth of the cells and tissues. Mainly oral cancer develops in the squamous cells found in your oral cavity, tongue, and lips.

Availing oral cancer screening near you can be an apt way to control and treat oral cancer. Early detection is the best way to survive oral cancer. The oral cavity cells are more delicate than that of the other body parts, and the risk of oral cancer is also more. Oral cancer can affect the inner lining of the mouth, the gums, the floor of the mouth, the hard and soft palates, the tongue, and the lips.

What is Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral cancer is caused due to mutation of the DNA of your oral cavity, neck, or throat cells. Dentists can diagnose oral cancer and be detected during a comprehensive oral examination. Oral cancer screening involves a thorough examination of the neck, throat, and oral cavity to look for abnormal signs of cell growth. The dentist might touch to feel the formation of nodules in the neck or throat region.

Early diagnose of oral cancer can detect and cure oral cancer. The dentist generally looks for the following symptoms:

  • White or pale patches on the gums or tongue.
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Abnormal bite
  • Blocked salivary glands
  • Unhealing ulcers or inflammation

The oral cancer screening procedure is an elaborate one that can be time-consuming. The dentist can perform X-rays, CT scans, PET scans, or MRI to get a more accurate image of the extent of the spread of cancerous cells. An endoscopy may also be performed to examine the sinus, nasal passage, windpipe, inner throat, and trachea.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer sets initially set in the thin lining cells of the lips and mouth. Eventually, the cancerous cells spread to the tongue, floor of the mouth, and gums. The common symptoms of oral cancer are:

  • Difficulty in chewing, eating, or swallowing
  • Pain in the ears, neck, throat, and jaws
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Numbness in the oral cavity
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Thickening of the inner lining of the mouth

Unexplained weight loss, tiredness, dizziness can also be symptoms of oral cancer. These symptoms necessarily may not be the symptoms of only oral cancer, but if experienced, it is advisable to opt for oral cancer screening near you.

Who Should Get Oral Cancer Screening and When?

People over the age of 40 are more prone to oral cancer. Men are more vulnerable to suffer from oral cancer than women. A recent study reveals, almost 50000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year in America.

According to National Cancer Institute, oral cancer screening should take place before the symptoms of oral cancer become prominent. There are many benefits of oral cancer screening, and the most important is it can save your life if diagnosed in time.

The potential risk factors of oral cancer are:

  • Weak immune system
  • Tobacco users
  • Heavy drinking
  • Excessive exposure of lips to the sun
  • Sexually transmitted human papillomavirus virus
  • Diet rich in red meat
  • Exposure to carcinomic substances as formaldehyde, sulfuric acid, or asbestos

What Happens If I’m Diagnosed with Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer can be dangerous as it is difficult to detect in the early stage. Oral cancer also runs the risk of developing tumors or malignant inflammations. Lymph nodes in the throat or neck can also signify oral cancer.

If detected early, oral cancer can be cured completely with surgery and radiation therapy. Radiation therapy involves destroying carcinomic cells through powerful x-rays. Maintaining a good immunity and oral cancer screening can help keep oral cancer at bay.

Protecting Yourself Against Oral Cancer

The dentist is the first line of defense against oral cancer. The primary symptoms might not seem like oral cancer, but it is better to visit the dentist for oral cancer screening in Chandler. Chandler Ranch Dental welcomes all new patients with a special offer of $49, and you can book an appointment for oral cancer screening apart from availing of cosmetic dentistry, orthodontic treatments, and teeth whitening.

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