The importance of oral cancer screening

Today, cancer has become one of the leading causes of death. Oral cancer is also one of those types of cancers that have a high mortality rate. Unfortunately, diseases like cancer may not be discovered at an early stage, or sometimes people do not have symptoms at all in the early stage. However, we can catch the disease in the beginning by doing an oral screening test and further diagnosis. This is the best way to combat oral cancer in the initial stage. According to the National Library of Medicine in India, around 77,000 new cases and 52,000 deaths are reported annually, which is one-fourth of the global incidence. As per the American Joint Committee on Cancer, compared to the West, the concern of oral cancer is significantly higher in India as about 70% of the cases are reported in the advanced stages.

Oral cancer is a highly lethal type of cancer, with a mortality rate that could be reduced by early detection. Regular screening can increase survival rates and decrease the need for extensive treatment.

Know the Risk

Understanding the Factors Behind Oral Cancer The following are the elements that can elevate the likelihood of developing oral cancer –

  • Tobacco chewing
  • Smoking cigarettes or cigars
  • Weakened immune system
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection
  • Consumption of Areca nuts or Snuff.
  • Heavy alcohol consumption,
  • Prolonged exposure of lip to sunlight

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

Oral Cancer Symptoms: Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late

  • Jaw stiffness and jaw pain
  • Pain in swallowing
  • Ill-fitting denture
  • Ulcer or sore which bleeds
  • Non-Healing ulcer in mouth
  • Difficulty in chewing
  • White or red lining or patches
  • A lump or hard spot in mouth
When you see such symptoms, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible.

Firstly, the doctor will do a clinical or physical examination. During the screening, a dentist or other healthcare provider will look for any abnormal growths or lesions in the mouth and throat. A doctor will check everything in the oral cavity like the lip, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, gums, and throat. The doctor will also check for patches, lumps, or ulcers. Mouth opening will also be checked.
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

You may find some white or red patches or any unusual patch in the oral cavity. In that case, you should visit a dentist or sometimes, regular visits to a dentist may help your doctor to find such patches in the mouth. So, your doctor will collect this suspicious tissue, and it can be sent to a lab to determine oral cancer. The oral screening test is utilized as a precautionary measure.
Why is an oral screening test important? / Protect Your Oral Health: The Importance of Regular Screening Tests

The oral cancer screening test is specifically designed to detect the early signs of oral cancer before it progresses to an advanced stage.This screening test plays a crucial role in successful treatment as it allows for timely intervention. Around 84% of oral cancer cases can be detected early by a dental professional. If they find it suspicious, they will refer the patient to an oncologist for further tests. The tests include:
UsDental Cytology
This involves collecting cells from your mouth with a brush or piece of cotton. And a pathologist will look at cells under a microscope to find any abnormality.
UsDental Biopsy
in this test, the provider will remove a portion of an abnormal tissue and will send it to a pathologist for analysis.
You will get Oral screening results immediately; however, a biopsy report will take 3-4 days.

Oral cancer preventions

Preventing oral cancer requires regular visits to a healthcare professional, especially when you find anything unusual in your mouth. It’s crucial to quit smoking or using tobacco products, and to strictly follow all instructions given by your doctor.

Your oral health is crucial to your overall well-being, so why take chance? Take the first step towards a healthier future by scheduling an oral cancer screening test today.

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