When Is Oral Cancer Screening Recommended?

When Is Oral Cancer Screening Recommended?

January 1, 2023

What Is Oral Cancer? 

It is a dental disease that features a mutation of precancerous and cancerous cells in the mouth. These distinct cells multiply quickly in the mouth, forming growths and tumors that become problematic to the body. Oral cancer is limited to the mouth and the surrounding areas. Types of mouth cancer include:

  1. Lip cancer
  2. Throat cancer
  3. Salivary gland cancer
  4. Tongue cancer
  5. Palatal cancer

Where Does Oral Cancer Usually Start? 

Oral cancer can occur anywhere in your mouth, depending on the type of mouth cancer. However, it commonly begins inside the mouth, in the thin cells lining your lips. These cells are called squamous cells. Ideally, any changes in your DNA will lead to a mutation of the squamous cells, causing them to grow abnormally.

Further, the most common type of cancer people develop in their mouth is tongue cancer. It starts in the front two-thirds of the tongue. This type of cancer can quickly translate into throat or oropharyngeal cancer. It is also a high-risk type of mouth cancer that can spread quickly to the lymph nodes in the neck area.

How Is Oral Cancer Detected Early? 

Detecting oral cancer screening early is crucial for curing the disease. There are two main ways to detect oral cancer early:

  1. Evaluative tests
  2. Signs and symptoms of oral cancer
    • Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer 

Like any other dental problem treated in the dental office in Knoxville, IA, oral cancer can be identified through its symptoms. However, you must be keen to evaluate your dental health to know when you have cancerous symptoms. Some symptoms of oral cancer are:

  1. Whitish or reddish patches in your mouth
  2. Dental pain when you chew
  3. Lumps, bumps, and swellings in your mouth
  4. Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  5. Persistent mouth sores that do not heal
    • Evaluative Tests

They comprise examinations that allow a dentist to check your mouth for any signs of cancer. Usually, a routine dental exam can be an avenue for detecting oral cancer early. As the dentist is examining the state of your oral cavity, they can detect anomalies necessitating further tests. Another crucial test for detecting oral cancer early is oral cancer screening in Knoxville, IA.

What Is Oral Cancer Screening? 

It is a test done to check your oral cavity for the presence of precancerous cells. Oral cancer screenings are not necessarily diagnostic tests. However, they are the first step you take to check if you are experiencing any cancerous problems in your mouth. Usually, after an oral cancer screening at Knoxville Dental Associates, you may need further diagnostic tests. It applies if you have signs pointing to precancerous cells.

Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Necessary? 

While you can rely on signs and symptoms of oral cancer to detect the disease, it will not be accurate. Oral cancer screening is necessary for the following reasons:

  1. To distinguish cancer from other oral problems like gum disease. If you are not keen, you may mistake the early signs of cancer for gum disease.
  2. To determine the extent of the damage of cancer. It allows the dentist to find the best treatment for you.
  3. To keep you on high alert if you are at a high risk of getting oral cancer. It will help you remain proactive to avoid lifestyle choices that further heighten your risk of oral cancer.

Who Needs Oral Cancer Screening?

Dentists recommend oral cancer screening to everyone. It is a crucial evaluative test that can help detect oral cancer early, so you can begin your treatment sooner than later. However, dental experts are yet to agree on the benefits or necessity of oral cancer screening for perfectly healthy patients. Instead, they recommend adults over 20 years consider oral cancer screening once every three years. Patients older than 55 years should take up oral cancer screenings annually. Generally, oral cancer screening works bests for patients at a high risk of mouth cancer. Factors that heighten your risk of mouth cancer include:

  1. Smoking and other using tobacco products
  2. Excessive consumption of alcohol
  3. A family history of oral cancer
  4. A previous diagnosis of cancer