4 Things You Need to Know About Getting Oral Cancer Screens
When you’re going to the dentist, you might think that you have all your bases covered. Your teeth and gums are your major concerns, but oral cancer is also a major factor that should be included. In fact, oral cancer screens should be included in your list of things to get checked by the dentist. If you’re considering getting oral cancer screens and are hesitant about getting it done, the following are a few things that will help you make up your mind.
- Early Detection Improves Chances of Recovery
There are various modes of treatment that help to successfully cure oral cancer but a large number of oral cancer cases can go undetected until it is too late. The high rate of mortality associated with oral cancer is largely due to this fact. With the help oral cancer screens, chances of oral cancer being detected in early stages greatly increases. This also improves chances of prompt treatment and recovery from oral cancer.
- Additional Tests May be Necessary
Oral cancer screens don’t just rely on inspection of the mouth, tongue and tonsils. It also relies on the use of different tests that can be helpful in detecting the presence or growth of cancerous tissue. Based on this fact, you could have to undergo the following procedures:
- Toluidine Dyeing – This involves the usage of blue dye to stain the area so that any lesions in the mouth become visible. Areas that show up darker might have or are more likely to becoming cancerous.
- Fluorescent Staining – This test is fairly simple. A special fluorescent rinse is used to wash the mouth first. After that, a fluorescent light is used in order to highlight abnormal tissue in the mouth.
- Exfoliative Cytology – In this test, samples of cells are collected from the suspected afflicted area such as the tongue, inside of the mouth, lips or other oral cavity. These cells are then taken for further examination under a microscope.
- Biopsy – This involves the use of a special brush that can collect cells, particularly on a lesion. The brush helps collect cells from each layer of the lesions which are then carefully examined with the help of a microscope.
- You Should Get them Separately
While most dentists often give a precursory check in your mouth, they are usually too engrossed in the actual procedure to pay close attention to oral cancer growths unless they are really visible. For this reason, you will be improving your chances greatly by opting to get separate oral cancer screens each year. In this manner, you and the dentist you are dealing with will both be on the same page and they will be able to be more attentive for symptoms of oral cancer.
- It’s Not Always Dental
Oral cancer is not always limited to the mouth. It can afflict a person anywhere in the head and neck area. In many cases, cancer that starts in the neck and mouth can only be detected by careful examination of the lesions, esophagus, lymph nodes and thyroid glands. This is one reason why oral cancer screens are so necessary.