Oral Cancer Examination
ORAL CANCERS: RISK FACTORS, DIAGNOSIS, AND TREATMENT
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Oral Cancer Examination Warrnambool
We all would like things that we enjoy to remain with us and continue to be available to us always.
Dental health is one of those things and unfortunately one of those things we can easily take for granted, we can all be guilty of assuming that if we have no pain, we have no problems and that nature will tell us if and when we might need to pay some attention to our teeth.
However, things just don’t always work out the way we would like, in fact, the most potent dental disease that accounts for the most tooth loss in the world is PAINLESS, and by the time we start to notice a problem it can be too late!
“Quality is never an accident; it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skilful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.”
Oral Cancer Facts
- Oral cancer is three times as common as cervical cancer
- Oral cancer survival rates have been stagnant for 30 years, with most cases detected during advanced stages
- Survival rates are exponentially higher when detected during the early stages
- Yearly oral cancer screenings are strongly recommended by physicians
Oral Cancer Symptoms
- Mouth sores that do not go away
- Chronic pain in mouth or ear
- Firm swelling or lump in the neck
- Persistent difficulty or irregular swallowing
- Persistent sore throat without any symptoms of cold or illness
How you prepare
Oral cancer examination doesn’t require any special preparation.
Oral cancer examination is typically performed during a regular dental check-up.
What to expect
During an oral cancer screening examination, your Warrnambool dentist looks over the inside of your mouth to check for mouth sores.
Using gloved hands, your dentist also feels the tissues in your mouth to check for lumps or other irregularities.
Additional Tests for Oral Cancer Examination
Some dentists use special tests in addition to the oral exam. It’s not clear if these tests offer any additional benefit over the oral exam.
Special oral cancer examination tests may involve:
Rinsing your mouth with a special dye before an exam. Abnormal cells in your mouth may be stained.
Shining a special light in your mouth during an exam. The light makes healthy tissues appear dark and makes abnormal tissues appear white.
If your dentist detects any signs of mouth cancer or precancerous lesions, the following may be recommended:
A follow-up visit after a few weeks to see if the abnormal area is still present and take note whether it has grown or changed over time.
A biopsy procedure is performed to determine whether cancer cells are present. A sample of cells will be removed for laboratory testing.
Your Warrnambool dentist may perform the biopsy, or you may be referred to a specialist in oral cancer diagnosis and treatment.
We are here to help you answer these & more questions thoroughly.
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Frequently Asked Questions
About Oral Cancer Examination
1. Where does oral cancer occur?
Most oral cancers occur in the floor of the mouth and tongue but can also occur in the upper or lower jaw, lips, gums, and cheek lining.
2. Who is most at risk for oral cancer?
Smokers and heavy alcohol drinkers are more likely to develop oral cancer.
People with a history of oral human papillomavirus infections are at greater risk to develop oral cancer even if they don’t smoke or drink.
3. What causes oral cancer?
Tobacco and alcohol use are the main risk factors for oral cancer. They are both risk factors by themselves, but the risks are even greater for people who use both.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr Nishant Hurria
Dr Nishant Hurria is an Australian-based health professional and the principal dentist of Warrnambool Dental with a special interest in Crowns & Bridges and Dental Implants.