Oral Cancer Screening
As our patients get older, it becomes increasingly important to check for indications of cancer. Oral cancer screenings act as a precautionary measure for investigating any signs of oral cancer and to trigger treatment if necessary. It is also important for young adults, who should also be having oral cancer screenings, albeit less frequently. The sooner a malignant tumor is identified, the higher the patient’s chances are of successfully recovering from oral cancer. My Dentist Friend performs oral cancer screenings for our patients during regular appointments, or if an oral cancer screening is requested.
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening?
An oral cancer screening is both a visual and physical observation of the oral cavity and the surrounding areas of the face. Sometimes, indications of oral cancer can appear under the chin, or even around the nose, so our patients should not be surprised if our oral surgeon checks these areas. The most obvious sign of oral cancer is a lump, although not all lumps are indicative of oral cancer, and most lumps are usually benign. It is, however, always important to have these lumps checked to ensure they are benign. The screening can be completed in as little as 2 minutes.
The exam is only an examination of the face, mouth, lips, chin, cheeks, nose, and gums to look for any signs of oral cancer. The only additional equipment our oral surgeon may use is a VELscope, which helps differentiate healthy tissue from unhealthy tissues, or some oral dye, which can, again, indicate abnormalities in the oral cavity. After the screening, our patients can talk to our oral surgeon about any worries they have concerning their oral or physical health, and our team will be able to advise our patients on how to keep themselves healthy, including proper brushing and cleaning techniques. If there are no indications of oral cancer, then the patient will have another oral cancer screening in 3 years for patients over 20, and every year for patients above 40. If a lump has been found, and it cannot be conclusively determined to be a benign lump, then the next step is to have an ultrasound.
How can I Reduce my Chances of Developing Oral Cancer?
Being aware of any family history related to oral cancer and relaying this to our oral surgeons is important. Keeping fit and healthy by doing regular exercise, and maintaining a regular, balanced diet are two important aspects of general health. Refraining from smoking and from excessive drinking will drastically reduce the chances of contracting oral cancer. Avoiding chewing tobacco will also greatly reduce the odds of developing oral cancer. Brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing daily will help our patients’ oral health.
My Dentist Friend can perform oral cancer screenings during your biannual check-up or upon request. The sooner you have a lump screened, the better your chances are of beating the cancer. We offer screenings to trigger early treatment. To book a screening now, call our office at 856-484-4114.
My Dentist Friend
Dr. Hojin Kim
401 W Landis Ave
Vineland, NJ 08360-8105
Sat: Available upon request only.