Oral Cancer Screening
Treating oral diseases is a task in which our professionals put high importance at Chicago Dental Esthetics, and one of the things we do to help prevent and treat oral cancer is known as an oral cancer screening. Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from oral cancer, making it a condition that is not only dangerous but also common. An oral cancer screening is a procedure done for patients who are high at risk of developing the disease, and it has allowed us to catch signs of oral cancer early, allowing patients to get treatment as soon as possible. Here is what to expect during an oral cancer screening.
Oral Cancer Screenings Can Save Lives
During a standard check-up, our team examines the mouth of the patient so we can potentially catch signs of oral cancer. We also ask the patient questions regarding their oral hygiene care and their habits such as smoking. The latter category is especially important when discussing oral cancer because smokers are up to five times more at risk for developing oral than non-smokers. Heavy alcohol consumption and extended lip exposure to the hot sun also contribute to the disease. The screening involves an examination of the entire mouth, searching for lumps and sores. We also look for red and white patches in both the mouth and throat, as these are signs of oral cancer development. Some of these signs may not be the result of cancer cells, but it is always safer to be sure of what condition a patient has. Tissue samples can be collected for analysis to verify if there are cancer cells apparent.
What Happens When a Patient Comes Back Positive For Oral Cancer?
If a patient has oral cancer, the patient will be referred to undergo treatment that fits the condition of the patient and the severity of oral cancer. If oral cancer is detected early, the patient may be required to undergo surgery and radiation therapy to remove areas that have been compromised. The specialists that can help the patient will determine what treatment is the best fit for depending on the patient’s overall health.
How To Lower Your Risk of Developing Oral Cancer
It hasn’t been discovered yet what actively causes oral cancer, but our team has an understanding of what can significantly increase the risks of developing it. Smoking, as previously mentioned, increases a person’s risks due to the chemicals found in tobacco. It is difficult to quit, but our professionals highly encourage trying and getting the help you need to make it possible. Smoking, in general, is damaging for both the mouth and body. Additionally, heavy alcohol consumption increases your risks as well. Lastly, a factor that you might not consider is sun exposure to the lips. You can help protect your mouth in the hot sun by applying lip balm - it is essentially sunscreen for your mouth.
If you have any questions for our team at Chicago Dental Esthetics or would like to schedule an appointment, you can call our office at (224) 341-5162.