If you’re concerned about something not being quite right in your mouth, your Chandler, Arizona dentist can perform a variety of examinations, including an oral cancer screen. The goal of such screenings is to look for signs of precancerous conditions, or cancer itself, in the cheeks, tongue, and roof of the mouth. Most dentists will look for these signs during routine dental visits, but certain signs and symptoms may warrant him/her to utilize additional tests. The earlier such things are detected, the more positive the prognosis.
Oral cancer screenings may sound daunting, but finding any growths or lesions early makes it easier to remove them, increasing a person’s chance of being cured. Those with a particularly high risk of developing oral cancer should be checked more thoroughly and regularly, as well. There are a variety of factors that can increase a patient’s risk of develop this type of cancer. In addition to using any type of tobacco, from cigarettes and cigars to pipe and chewing tobacco, heavy alcohol use is also a risk factor. Having previously been diagnosed with and treated for any type of oral (tongue, lip, cheek, throat) cancer is also a major factor. Environmental factors, such as spending long periods of time in certain radiation or in the sun, can also increase a person’s risk. Discuss with your dentist if you have any of these conditions, and he/she will be able to best advise you on how to move forward.
There is no single test that can save a person or reduce their risk of developing oral cancer. However, you and your dentist can take necessary precautions to be aware and knowledgeable in the event that treatment for oral cancer becomes necessary. If your dentist detects signs and symptoms of the illness, they will promptly refer you to an oncologist, where you can discuss your treatment options and begin on the best course of action for your needs.
If you are in the Chandler or Gilbert AZ area our local dentist can provide an oral cancer screening to make sure everything checks out ok. Call us today.