An oral cancer screening is designed to try to detect early signs of oral cancer before it progresses to a more advanced stage. This is necessary as oral cancer be treated successfully when caught early enough.
If your dentist in Dupont Circle DC performs an oral cancer screening, he will use a lot of tools to look for any mouth sores or discoloration in the mouth. He will then feel the tissue around the mouth for abnormalities and lumps. When he detects any form of abnormality in the mouth, he will send a sample of this to a laboratory for further testing. Below are the main reasons you have to ask for an oral screening at your next dental checkup.
Early Detection for Better Survival
An oral cancer screening can save your life. Oral cancer can be hard to treat. While a lot of kinds of cancer like breast cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer have improved survival rates, survival rates for oral cancer tend to lag behind. This is mainly because such other cancers have seen an increase in screening. When cancers are detected early, they will be easily treated, usually with less invasive treatments.
Few Risk Factors for a Newly Diagnosed Cancer
Perhaps you think you are not at risk of oral cancer. Although a lot of risk factors for this kind of cancer are known, like heavy drinking, advanced age or smoking, the fastest growing class of individuals diagnosed with this cancer have none of such risk factors. That is why it is imperative to get screening, particularly if you think you have no risk factors.
Easy and Convenient
Compared to screenings of other cancers, oral cancer screening is easy and convenient. There is no need for you to make a separate appointment. The procedure only takes two minutes and you will hardly notice.
Peace of Mind
Sure, the thought of oral cancer shakes your nerves and when you do not do anything about it, this won’t stop. And your loved one who thought you might have this cancer can be affected really badly. So to put your doubts to rest, you need to find out by getting screened.
In order to prevent oral cancer, you need to have regular oral cancer screening during your dental checkups. Although your dentist will not be able to diagnose you during the exam, the lab test results of the sample tissue your dentist sent will determine if you have oral cancer.