If you think you may be at risk for oral cancer, getting an oral cancer screening is extremely important. It is imperative that oral screenings for cancer are done as early as possible in order to identify cancer in the early stages, as there is a greater chance for a cure in the early stages.
Who is at risk for developing oral cancer?
Individuals with a high risk of oral cancer will benefit the most from visiting their dentist for an oral screening in Chandler. Factors that may increase the risk of developing oral cancer include the following:
- Chronic alcohol use
- Tobacco Use (e.g., cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and snuff)
- History of increased sun exposure that may increase the risk of lip cancer
- A previous diagnosis of oral cancer
If you engage in any of these behaviors, you should consult with your dentist regarding methods that may help you reduce your risk of oral cancer.
Limitations of oral cancer screenings
There are a few limitations regarding oral cancer screening, including:
- Oral cancer screenings can not detect all types of mouth cancers. It is very difficult to observe abnormal cells by looking at the mouth, which may lead to a small precancerous or cancerous lesion going undetected.
- Oral cancer screenings have limited evidence. There is no current evidence that proves that oral cancer screenings reduce the number of lives lost to oral cancer. Oral screenings simply may help detect cancers in the early stages of development, which allows for treatment to begin as soon as possible.
What happens during an oral cancer screening?
When being screened for oral cancer, the dentist examines the inside of the mouth to screen for mouth sores, red patches, or white patches. The dentist will feel the inside of the mouth to screen for abnormalities or lumps.
If you are concerned about your risk for oral cancers, contact our dentist in Chandler AZ for more information on how to set up a consultation.