According to Oral Cancer Foundation(OCF), about 53,000 American adults are diagnosed with oral cancer annually. Additionally, about 9,750 of those die as a result. Furthermore, oral cancer accounts for about 30 percent of all cancer cases globally. But, interestingly, the problem with oral cancer is not the lack of testing centers, but late testing. That is why you are advised to visit the dentist in Livonia regularly to get cancer screening.
Oral cancer screening is a series of tests done to examine the mouth, gums, palate, and soft tissues. The primary purpose of oral cancer tests is to check for any precancerous lesions, tumors, or abnormal cells.
Oral cancer screening in Livonia, MI is ideal for everyone, but it is more recommended for people who are at risk of developing mouth cancer. Tobacco smoking or chewing is the primary trigger of oral cancer. Other factors include genetics, poor nutrition, age, gender (occurs mostly in men), and Human Papillomavirus.
It is important to note that while these factors put you at risk, you can still develop mouth cancer even though you are not at risk.
Oral cancer has no obvious symptoms in the initial stages and as such, it can go undetected. Without early diagnosis, the cancer cells can multiply and cause severe symptoms in the advanced stages. With mouth cancer screening, the dentist can check for lesions and ulcerations that are precancerous.
It is important for you to do a daily examination of your teeth and gums, whether you have the risk factors or not. Idiopathic gum bleeding, lumps, and white patches on the gums are some of the symptoms of oral cancer.
The frequency of mouth cancer screening depends on your age and risk factor. For healthy adults between 20 to 40 years should get mouth cancer screenings every three years. Those above 40 years need to have the procedure done annually. Also, you need to get oral cancer screening once a year if you have any of the risk factors mentioned above.
The dentist will do two different exams to check the mouth and soft tissues.
If the dentist detects any ulcerations, the dentist will recommend a biopsy to check if they are cancerous or not. it is a mildly invasive procedure where the doctor will take a sample of the lesion for further examination.
Oral cancer is used as a prevention tool and not diagnostic, and it has a few limitations.
If a biopsy is done and cancer is detected, a suitable treatment is started to get rid of the cells or stop their multiplication. The doctor may use or multiple treatments like chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery.
Preventing oral cancer may be impossible, but there are ways you can reduce the chances of you developing it.
Visit Willow Wood Dental for more information on oral cancer screening and how to prevent mouth cancer.