Procedure Involved In Oral Cancer Screening Test
Mouth cancer screenings involve two main aspects: a visual and a physical exam.
Before the screening, make sure you take out any removable dental appliances if you have any. That helps the dentist to examine the entire mouth.
Your dental professional will look for swellings, asymmetries, ulcerations, patches of color, bumps, or other abnormalities. They will also observe your neck, face, lips, cheeks, jaw, oral cavity, inside of your nose, and other significant parts for oral cancer screening.
Your dentist in San Clemente will use a light and mirror to take a look inside your mouth. Then, a tongue depressor holds your tongue down while looking at the back of your mouth.
Apart from a visual exam, your dentist will touch your mouth, neck, and face to feel unusual masses or nodules. Touch is essential for your dental professional to discover cancer-causing abnormalities in the mouth.
A tactile inspection aids the dentist in finding any hard tissue lumps.
Mouth cancer symptoms can be painful at times, but usually, at its early stages, the symptoms are painless. This makes it even more important for a dentist to screen for it regularly.
Signs And Symptoms Of Oral Cancer
If the following symptoms occur and last more than two weeks, it is vital to schedule an appointment with your dentist:
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- Soreness that doesn’t subside
- Changes in the way your teeth meet when you close your mouth
- Problems chewing, speaking, swallowing, or moving your jaw or tongue
- Numbness or tenderness in the lips or mouth
- A lump or eroded area in your mouth.
In addition, some individuals feel as if they have something caught in their throat or changes in their voice. If have experienced any of these symptoms and live in the East Los Angeles area, schedule an appointment at Gage Dental Care immediately.
What You Should Know About Oral Cancer
The incidence of oral cancer is closely tied to excessive alcohol and tobacco use. About 80 percent of people with oral cancer use tobacco, and about 70 percent are heavy drinkers. For people who both smoke and drink heavily, the risk of oral cancer may be twice as high as the risk for people who do not smoke or drink. Other major risk factors for oral cancer include gendermen are twice as likely as women to develop oral cancerand age, with most patients diagnosed at 55 or older.
Surgery is typically the first-line treatment for oral cancers that are caught early. Other common treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and targeted therapy. Studies have shown that many oral cancer cells contain too many copies of the epidermal growth factor receptor, or EGFR, which allows cancer cells to grow faster and become resistant to radiation and/or chemotherapy. For this reason, treating oral cancer with a drug that targets EGFR may help kill cancer cells without harming normal tissues. Targeted therapy may be used by itself or in combination with other therapies.
Oral cancer and its treatment often cause side effects, including weight loss, fatigue, nausea, diarrhea and constipation. Supportive care services may help patients prevent or manage these symptoms.
What is oral cancer?
More than 90 percent of oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas, meaning they form in the flat, thin squamous cells that line the mouth and throat.
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
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Symptoms Of Oral Cancer
Some common symptoms patients with oral cancer experience include:
- Thickenings/swellings, bumps or lumps, eroded areas or rough spots on the gums, cheek, lips, or other in the mouth
- Speckled , red, or velvety white patches in the mouth
- Unexplained numbness or tenderness/pain in any part of the mouth, neck, or face
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing, moving the tongue or jaw, or speaking
- Dramatic weight loss
What Does An Oral Cancer Screening Entail
An oral cancer screening begins with a clinical exam of a patients mouth and throat. The dentist will use a light, mirror and tongue depressor to look for any type of abnormality, such as bumps, patches of color, ulcerations and swelling. All areas of the mouth will be examined, including the roof of the mouth, tonsils, inner cheeks, gums and tongue. The dentist will also palpate the jaw, the neck, under the chin and the outside cheeks to feel for any unusual masses or firm nodules.
If any abnormalities are detected, the dentist may use a special dye and/or light to further evaluate this area for oral cancer. Some of the most common tests include:
- Using a laser light that reflects abnormal tissue differently than it does normal tissue
- Spreading toluidine blue dye over the suspected abnormal area, which will turn blue if irregular tissue is found
- Rinsing the mouth with a solution of acetic acid and then using a special light to examine the abnormal area
Dentists also recommend that adults conduct monthly self-exams for oral cancer and to report any changes, such as white patches, lumps or sores, to their dentist.
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Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Important
Oral cancer screening aims to identify mouth cancer at an early stage before the cancer spreads to surrounding tissues. Cancer is often easier to treat when its found early.
Less than one-third of oral cancers are found at an early stage. For these cancers, the survival rate is very high. Overall, 85% of people diagnosed with early-stage oral cancer are still alive five years later. The five-year survival rate is even higher for some types of oral cancer, such as lip cancer.
Unfortunately, about half of oral cancers arent diagnosed until the cancer has spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes. Cancers diagnosed at this stage are harder to treat, and the overall five-year survival rate is 67%. When oral cancers spread to distant parts of the body, such as the lungs, the five-year survival rate drops to 40%.
Why Champions Dental For Your Oral Cancer Screening In Houston Texas
We understand that a healthy mouth and healthy teeth and gums play an important role in our overall health. This motivates us to provide each of our patients with attentive, educational, and proactive dental services. The key to optimal oral health is a combination of proper preventive habits and routine visits with a supportive dental team. Along with working hard to assess the health of your mouth with an oral cancer screening, our team makes it a point to help you understand what you can do to lessen your risk of the disease and optimize your oral health.
Visit our team at Champions Dental today for a consultation or call to schedule your oral cancer screening appointment. Your beautiful, healthy smile awaits!
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Visit The Dentist To Prevent Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can affect the teeth, gums, tongue, lips, and throat, causing severe harm. Oral cancer will spread to other parts of the body if neglected. The signs of oral cancer can be detected and diagnosed by dental professionals.
This type of cancer can be prevented with regular dental checkups. During your dental visit, the dentist will perform oral cancer screening, discuss how poor oral hygiene can contribute to oral cancer, and provide tips to improve your oral hygiene routine.
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Know How To Recognize Oral Cancer
Tell your dentist if you notice:2
- A red or white patch
- A sore that bleeds easily or doesn’t heal
- A thick or hard spot, or a lump
- A roughened or crusted area
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
- Problems chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your tongue or jaw
- A feeling that something is caught in the throat
- Pain in the throat that wont go away
- Pain or ringing in the ears or trouble hearing
Preventing high risk behaviors, such as cigarette, cigar, or pipe smoking use of smokeless tobacco and excessive use of alcohol are critical in preventing oral cancers. Oral Human Papilloma Virus , the most common sexually transmitted disease, can cause cancers in the back of the throat, called oropharyngeal cancers.
The bottom line? Routine preventive care can help catch and treat oral cancer. Get regular dental check-ups for cleanings and exams and see your dentist right away if you have any symptoms that worry you.
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How Can I Lower My Risk For Mouth And Throat Cancer
- As part of your oral hygiene routine, watch for changes in the soft tissues of your mouth.
- Avoid all tobacco products, including cigarettes and chewing tobacco.
- Avoid heavy alcohol use.
- If sexually active, practice safe sex to prevent the spread of HPV.
- Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Visit your dentist for regular oral cancer screenings.
Tests To Find Oral Cavity Or Oropharyngeal Cancer
The doctor will ask you about symptoms, possible risk factors, and any other medical problems you may have.
The doctor will look for possible signs of mouth or throat cancer or pre-cancer. These could be bumps or other changed areas on your head, face or neck, or problems with the nerves of the face and mouth. The doctor will look at the entire inside of your mouth, and might feel around in it with a gloved finger. Other tests might be used to look for abnormal areas in your mouth or throat. Some of these tests are described in Can Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancers Be Found Early?
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Oral Cancer Screening Facts
Oral cancer screening is an important part of a dental exam, yet not every dentist performs it. Like other types of screening, oral cancer screening can save lives by detecting cancer in its early stages, when it is most responsive to treatment.
Oral cancer is a serious condition, claiming about11,230 American lives each year. About one in 60 men will develop oral cancer at some time in their lives, according to theAmerican Cancer Society, and about one in 140 women will be diagnosed with the disease.
Screening for oral cancer is fast and painless. It can also save your life.
How Often Should You Have An Oral Cancer Screening
Early detection of oral cancer can improve a patients chances of successful treatment. Thats why many dentists recommend having regular oral cancer screenings that examine the entire mouth. Adults over the age of 20 should have a screening every three years while those over 40 should have annual screenings. People with risk factors – such as adults who use tobacco, are heavy alcohol drinkers, have human papillomavirus and/or have a family history of cancer – should request an annual oral cancer screening.
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How Do Oral Cancer Screenings Work
There are really no downsides to regular screenings. Theyre quick and painless and can be completed during your dental checkup.
As part of the process, the dentist will feel the area under your jaw and the side of the neck to check for lumps that may have formed. Theyll also check the insides of your mouth to look for any other warning signs . We perform a thorough inspection in order to give you the peace of mind that your mouth is healthy and that no dangerous health conditions are on the horizon.
In the event that anything is detected, it can be treated with surgery or radiation therapy, depending on the stage the oral cancer is in.
Can A Dentist Detect Oral Cancer During A Dental Visit
There are two types of oral cancer, which include cancer in the oral cavity and cancer in the oropharynx. Cancer in the oral cavity can surface on the lips, cheeks, teeth, gums, the roof of the mouth, and the front part of the tongue. Oral cancer in the oropharynx affects the middle of the throat, such as the base of the tongue and the tonsils.
Early detection is a key factor when it comes to oral cancer survival rates. The American Dental Association reported that an estimated 10,030 individuals are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, and the five year survival rate for these individuals is 60 percent. This is why routine dental exams are vital. If you are in the East Los Angeles area and need a dental exam, contact Dr. Abaian and Dr. Hanookai at Gage Dental Care.
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Self Oral Cancer Screening
- Completing this process once a month could save your life!
- This is the process of examining your own mouth for any signs of oral pre-cancer or cancer.
- Wash your hands and have a small flashlight handy.
- Remove any dentures or appliances so you can see all tissues in the mirror.
Examine the external surface of your lips, pull your lips out and examine all inside surfaces and your gums.
Mouth And Throat Cancer:
Cancer is a deadly disease. Each year in the United States, about 40,000 new cases of mouth and throat cancer are diagnosed. Almost half of those patients will die within five years.
Your dentist checks for cancer every time you visit. Cancers that are found early can be easier to treat-so these types of cancer screenings are one more reason to see your dentist regularly.
This brochure will tell you some ways to lower your risk for mouth and throat cancer. And by watching for the symptoms listed here, you are more likely to find the cancer earlier if you do have it.
Signs of throat cancer:
- lump or growth in the throat or neck area
- cough or sore throat that doesnt go away
- hoarseness or other changes in your voice
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Why Is It Important To Screen For Mouth Cancer
Early detection of mouth cancer is absolutely vital. Heres why its important to regularly screen for oral cancer.
- Early detection offers the best odds for survival: Early detection of oral cancers give the patient good odds for survival, at up to 90% when the issue is detected and treated straight away.
- Oral cancers can happen to anyone: Oral cancers can happen to anyone, and more young people are being diagnosed as the prevalence of HPV has meant that a wider portion of the age group is at risk.
- Peace of mind: With a professional checking your mouth at regular intervals for signs of oral cancer, you can have the peace of mind of doing what you can to avoid late detection.
Risk Factors For Throat Cancer
Most throat cancers develop in individuals over the age of 50, and men are more commonly affected. Individuals who smoke or use tobacco, as well as those who are heavy drinkers are at an increased risk of developing throat cancer. Additionally, human papillomavirus infection, most commonly HPC-16, has been associated with almost all types of throat cancers.
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How Is Oral Cancer Diagnosed
As part of your routine dental exam, your dentist should conduct an oral cancer screening. More specifically, your dentist will feel for any lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, face, and oral cavity. When examining your mouth, your dentist should look for any sores or discolored tissue, as well as check for any signs and symptoms mentioned above.
That means a thorough look at all the parts of your mouth, including:
- Your lips, both outside and inside
- Your tongue, from all sides and underneath
- The insides of your cheeks
- The roof of your mouth
- The back of your throat
If you wear dentures, youâll have to take them out so they can check the tissue underneath them.
They might put one finger in your mouth under your tongue and a couple of fingers on the skin under your chin and move them around to feel the tissue between them. Your dentist might also feel underneath your jaw.
The exam should take less than 5 minutes.
Your dentist may go a little more in-depth for your oral cancer screening test and have you rinse your mouth with a blue dye before the exam. Any unusual cells in your mouth absorb the dye so itâs easier to see them.
Incision And Punch Biopsy
An incision biopsy is usually done using local anaesthetic if the affected area is easily accessible, such as on your tongue or the inside of your cheek.
After the area has been numbed, the surgeon will cut away a small section of affected tissue.
The wound is sometimes closed with dissolvable stitches. The procedure is not painful, but the affected area may feel sore afterwards.
A punch biopsy is where an even smaller piece of tissue is removed and no stitching is used.
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What Causes Oral Pre
- Smoking tobacco, smokeless tobacco and heavy alcohol consumption. Smoking tobacco and drinking alcoholic beverages at the same time increases the risk even more.
- Certain types of the human papillomavirus , particularly type 16, have been shown to cause cancers more commonly in the oropharynx
- However, oral cancers can develop in people with no known risk factors, so everyone should monitor their mouths.
Nutrition And Speech Tests
Often, you will have a nutritionist who will evaluate your nutrition status before, during, and after your treatment to try and keep your weight and protein stores as normal as possible. You might also visit a speech therapist who will test your ability to swallow and speak. They might give you exercises to do during treatment to help strengthen the muscles in the head and neck area so you can eat and talk easily after treatment.
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