Oral cancer screening is a routine part of a dental examination. Regular check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.
A dentist will search for very small, but very dangerous oral spots or sores that you may not be aware of. The entire inside of the mouth and the tongue will be rigorously examined for flat, painless, white or red spots or small sores. The scary part is that harmful oral spots or sores often look identical to those that are harmless! However, this type of simple testing can tell them apart.
Manhattan Dentist, Dr. Mishaan is an expert at cancer screenings and has vehemently expressed the need for habitual screenings of this type. If a suspicious lesion is found, your dentist may treat it and ask you to return for a closer and more detailed re-examination. Your dentist may also choose to perform a simple test, such as a brush test. The brush test collects a tiny portion of cells from the suspicious sore or spot. These cells are then sent to a laboratory to be analyzed. If the cells are recognized as harmful, then the spot is surgically removed.
Why Are Cancer Screenings Important?
Dr. Mishaan is an advocate for oral cancer screenings for many reasons. The most important reason is early detection of cancer symptoms. It is now easier than ever to detect oral cancer early! This is when the opportunity for a cure or treatment is at a peak. The battle against oral cancer stars with you. Awareness of the signs and proper communication with your dentist about this disease can help to assure you are not one of the many who are affected each year.
In the early stages, oral cancer can be treated in up to 90% of cases. However, if the cancer is not detected, it can spread to any part of the body and become increasingly more difficult, if not impossible, to treat. Therefore, Dr. Daniell Mishaan advocates cancer screenings for all his patients. The oral cancer screening checks the mouth, head, and neck of early signs and symptoms of oral cancer. These include:
- Sores that do not heal
- Lumps on the lip, mouth, or throat
- White or red patches on the gums, tongue, or lining of the mouth
- Unusual bleeding, pain, or numbness in the mouth
- Sore throats that do not go away
- The feeling that something is caught in your throat
- Difficulty or pain when chewing or swallowing
The oral cancer exam is one of the most critical components of a complete and thorough dental hygiene and dental exam. It is not something to neglect.
What Should I Know About Oral Cancer?
- Oral cancer can affect any area of the mouth including: the lips, gum tissue, cheek lining, tongue, and the hard or soft palate.
- Oral cancer occurs most often in the mouths of those who use any types of tobacco products.
- The use of alcohol combined with smoking greatly increases the risk.
- Extensive exposure to the sun increases the risk of lip cancer.
- Oral cancer still occurs in people who do not use tobacco or have a family history of cancer.
- Oral cancer is much more likely to occur in those who are over the age of 40.
- Many studies have shown that a healthy diet, high in fruits and vegetables may help prevent the development of potentially cancerous lesions.
A busy schedule is no excuse for neglecting your wellbeing. In order to accommodate our patients, we are open Sunday through Friday, from 8am until 8pm.