Oral Cancer Screenings Basics

Oral Cancer Screenings Basics

July 1, 2021

Cancer is, unfortunately, a major cause of death and one of the leading causes. It does not have a cure, and it can affect people of all ages. Luckily, there is always a good chance of treating it when it is detected early.

Recently, oral cancer has become quite widespread. This type of cancer affects people of all ages, although some are at higher risk of getting it than others. Like other forms of cancer, there is a huge chance of treatment if detected early. Luckily, most dental clinics now offer oral cancer screening treatment to detect cancer as early as possible. In this blog, we will discuss oral cancer screenings in Chantilly in detail to help you make an informed decision.

What is Oral Cancer Screening?

It is a medical exam conducted by a doctor or dentist looking for precancerous lesions in a person’s mouth. The goal for this exam is usually to diagnose oral cancer as early as possible. Typically, the chances of treating infection are higher if it is identified early.

It is still not clear if people with lower risks for cancer should undergo screenings. This is because oral cancer screenings cannot reduce cancer risk. However, it is advisable because almost everyone can get oral cancer nowadays. Non-smokers and people coming families without cancer cases are getting oral cancer because of the HPV virus.

Furthermore, it does not hurt getting an oral cancer screening at least once a year. It is not painful, risky, and does not cost a fortune. In fact, it has an added advantage because an early diagnosis can mean better chances of treatment. As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.”

Why is Oral Cancer Screening Performed?

The main aim of screening is to find precancerous cells and diagnose oral cancer as early as possible. Most medical organizations agree that screenings are advantageous, but some experts feel like it might be just a waste of time. They argue that the procedure does not save any lives or decrease the risk of oral cancer, so there is no need for it. However, the procedure can be quite beneficial, especially to individuals at a higher risk of getting cancer.

Factors That Increase the Risk of Oral Cancer

  • Smoking: Tobacco has many side effects, including staining teeth, causing lung cancer, and causing oral cancer. Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco products to reduce the side effects of tobacco. If you’re an active smoker, you could benefit greatly from regular oral cancer screenings.
  • Alcohol: Taking alcohol in excess increases the risk of liver cirrhosis, but it also does increase the risk of oral cancer.
  • History of cancer: If you or anyone else in your family was diagnosed with cancer in the past, you are at a higher risk of contracting oral cancer. You could benefit from screening.
  • History of excessive exposure to the sun: This exposure usually increases the risk of lip cancer.

 Oral Cancer Screenings Procedure

The procedure is easy, fast, and painless. You will not need to prepare in any special way. The dentist or doctor will conduct the procedure in one day, and it can be done during your regular dental exams. He will use his hands to feel the tissues in your mouth and sometimes examine your neck for lumps.

Sometimes, he may ask you to rinse your mouth with a special liquid. If it turns into a specific color, for example, blue, it might mean you are positive. Other dentists use special lights to identify cancer.

Oral Cancer Treatment

There are various treatments for oral cancer. Typically, it involves a combination of therapy and surgeries. The doctor will use the most appropriate treatment, depending on the level of oral cancer. We are here for you if you are looking for an oral surgeon in Northern Virginia.

Oral Cancer Prevention

  • Avoid taking tobacco and its products
  • Don’t take alcohol in excess.
  • Get regular oral cancer screenings, especially if you are at a higher risk of getting oral cancer.
  • Get an HPV vaccine

Chantilly Dental Arts Center

Please don’t wait for too long to get screening. Remember, the earlier you get the screening, the better. We are here to help you if you’re looking for screenings in Chantilly. We can also help you with dental services such as implants, orthodontics, and cleanings.