Oral cancer remains a monster in the 21st century that the world has to battle. Even with advances in technology, the cases of oral cancer around the world are still high. The stakes are higher because most patients diagnosed with oral cancer wait until it is too late. Given that many people do not consider regular dental checkups necessary, deaths linked to oral cancer are still high. Still, you have a high chance of beating this type of cancer if you would consider early oral cancer screenings in Friendswood, TX. Read on to learn more about this cancer and the screening services available.
What Is Oral Cancer?
It is the presence of abnormal cancerous cells in any part of the oral cavity. Oral cancer happens to be among the top five most common types of cancer in the world. It affects both males and females and can appear in any part of the oral cavity.
Oral cancer has different types, depending on where it occurs. The most common types in dentistry include:
- Throat cancer
- Tongue cancer
- Cancer of the gums
What Is Oral Cancer Screening?
It is a series of examinations performed by a dentist to check a patient’s mouth for traces of cancerous cells or precancerous situations in your mouth. Oral cancer screenings near you are based on the idea that cancer has a better chance of being cured if it is caught early. An ideal situation for the screening would be during a routine dental visit.
If there aren’t any give-away signs that you may have a precancerous condition, the cancer screening will not be as thorough. However, your dentist may indulge in additional tests when there arises a need for it. The additional tests will help identify any areas of abnormal cells in your oral cavity.
Who Needs Dental Cancer Screenings?
These exams are mostly conducted when there is an anomaly detected on a patient’s mouth. However, some of the patients who seek oral cancer screenings near Webster do not necessarily have any indicators that could point back to oral cancer. Still, they have it done as a form of precaution. Studies, however, have not proven whether oral screening can save lives.
That said, people who have a high risk of getting oral cancer are the ones who need the screening more. The first step, therefore, should be to find out whether you are a high risk of getting cancer. Some of the situations that increase your risk of oral cancer include the following:
- Tobacco usage – whether you smoke, chew, or snuff, tobacco is not good for your health. This is not just regarding the health of your lungs. Your gums, tongue, and throat are very likely to succumb to oral cancer as a result of tobacco usage.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol – liver cirrhosis is not the only thing you are likely to suffer if you drink too much. It can also make you susceptible to mouth cancer.
Previous history of cancer – if you have had cancer before, of any type, then you are at a high risk of getting this type of cancer.
- Significant sum exposure – if you love to hike a lot or spend most of your days directly under the sun, your lips may be at risk of oral cancer. People who live in hot environs are more susceptible to lip cancer.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) – it is a sexually transmitted disease, mostly associated with oral sex.
Is The Screening Necessary Then?
Researchers have not found a direct link between cancer screenings and saved lives. This would make one wonder whether the screening sessions are even necessary. Some of the things that make oral cancer screenings necessary include the following:
- For diagnosis and prognosis – the only sure way to be certain of the health of your mouth regarding mouth cancer is through the screenings. These tests will help your doctor conclusively determine what your problem is, and the plausible solution thereof.
- Early cancer detection – in medicine, prevention is always better than cure. This is why dentists will work so hard to ensure that patients are as healthy as possible. In that light, you can consider cancer screening as a preventive measure.
- Curing cancer – even though there is no direct link between the two, early detection of cancer can increase your chances of getting cured.