Why screening for oral cancer could influence your future life
According to the OralCancerFoundation, the oral cavity is the reason to blame for more than 43,250 cases of cancer per year in the United States and 8,000 deaths per year. This happens because the majority of cases are detected at a late stage. The goal of screening is to identify cancer at an early stage, so as to ensure a greater chance for cure. It is essential you should know that screening happens where there are NO signs of cancer. It is just an oral exam that is done easily and quickly, with no pain, and it can take part of your routine dental examination. Screening is done where there are no symptoms and only for the purpose of detecting the disease at an early stage. Studies confirm that survival does correlate with stage, making early diagnosis and treatment optimal for this disease. In our society, there are many reasons for the appearance of cancer, but if you consume tobacco regularly, you should know the risks are higher. What we try to do is to discover oral cancer, of head and neck, at an early stage before the symptoms, such as pain and bleeding, occur.
A simple procedure
Performing a screening takes only a few minutes and it should be simple and painless. A good practitioner, such as Dr. Rod W. Gore, from our dental office in Scottsdale, Arizona, should be able to perform a full screening for oral cancer in less than 5 minutes. What’s more is that instead of a traditional and, more or less, uncomfortable procedure; we pride ourselves in using the ultimate technology, the VELscope.
What you should expect from a screening exam:
- Preparation. You’ll be asked to remove your denture plates or partials, if you have any.
- Explanation: Our doctors will give you an accurate and thorough explanation of their every next step.
- Examination: With a tender touch under white gloves, the doctor will examine your face, neck, lips, and mouth to look for any signs. With both hands, the doctor will massage the area under your jaw looking for lumps that may suggest cancer. Then they will feel the insides of your lips and cheeks, to check for possible signs of cancer, like asymmetries, masses, skin lesions, red/white patches. Your tongue will be examined for color and swelling.
- Using Autofluorescence (VELscope®): As you can see in the video below, using a VELscope makes it all easier, both for the doctor, and for the patient. The patient doesn’t have to adjust to the taste and feeling of any of the traditional practices of screening, like rinsing their mouth with dye or being applied a gauze on the floor of their mouth, because VELscopre centers on a wireless, handheld scope that applies tissue fluorescence visualization.
What happens if a lesion has been identified?
If the doctor finds anything suspicious, a surgical biopsy is the best way to arrive at a clear diagnosis. This is also easy to do and it only takes seconds.
Should I do a screening for oral cancer?
Doing a screening is a decision everyone must take. You can always ask your doctor for their opinion or you can choose to do it (it only takes 5 minutes) as part of your oral examination. The whole purpose of screening is detecting cancer at an early age, even when there are no symptoms. Of course, there are people more prone to cancer than others are, such as smokers and alcohol consumers. Though, in most cases, the results are negative, and people are fine, there are positive cases and people shouldn’t take chances, especially if they are more liable to the disease. If your risk of oral cancer is high, such as in the case of smoking, you shouldn’t be charged any money for the examination; therefore you should highly consider this chance. If you have any more questions, leave a comment and Dr. Rod W. Gore from our local dental office in Arizona, will personally answer you.
Latest posts by Ligia Mangra
- An efficient content writer is an efficient researcher - June 11, 2014
- Techsylvania you’ve been Squirrly-ed - June 21, 2014
- Top 5 crowdfunding platforms [infographic] - July 10, 2014