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Oral Cancer Screening

One of the most important and yet most overlooked aspects of oral health is screening for the early warning signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer can appear on its own for a number of reasons, including genetic predisposition, lifestyle factors, or as an adjunct to other types of cancer. In the latter case, this is known as metastasizing. As part of the comprehensive oral examination Dr. De Andrade performs, he checks the interior of the oral cavity looking for red or white spots and sores or ulcerations. He will also inspect the inside of the mouth by feel, searching for abnormalities in the skin or unusual lumps. In the event he detects something he deems to be of concern, he will order a biopsy, a laboratory test in which a sample of the area under examination is checked for evidence of cancer. This is a precaution to ensure that while structural problems are being addressed, a more serious and malicious problem is not going ignored.

Highly Visible Oral Cancer Screening Candidates?

Oral cancer screening is performed on every patient at the initial consultation at Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants , but some people may find this screening particularly beneficial. These include people with unusual risks for cancer of all types, such as:

  • Smokers and other tobacco users
  • People with family histories of cancer, particularly oral cancer
  • People with a history of heavy alcohol use
  • People with a history of drug use

This picture shows proof of the most important reasons to have a periodontist give you a full proper oral exam. Oral Cancer effects tens of thousand of people a year and if undetected can spread throughout your body.

Anyone who falls into any of these categories should undergo oral cancer screening at regular intervals. Oral cancer is treatable in many cases, but as with any other form of cancer, early detection and prevention is the key. If you are currently a smoker or heavy drinker, stopping these behaviors now greatly reduces your chances of getting oral cancer. If you have had other types of cancer in the past, whether in remission currently or not, your risk of oral cancer and other forms of cancer is much higher than the average population. The same holds true for people with a history of cancer appearing in close blood relations.

The purpose of an oral cancer screening is not to alarm or frighten anyone, but to help ensure that it’s treated promptly and effectively if it proves to be present. It is worth noting that in many cases, other oral health problems can manifest with similar effects to cancer. However, as with any other medical problem, prevention and screening can be the difference between a scary but survivable problem and a matter of life and death.

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