Why is Oral Cancer Screening Necessary?
The objective of an oral cancer screening is to detect mouth cancer or precancerous conditions. This is because cancer and lesions are easiest to remove and most likely to be cured the earlier they are identified.
You can request an oral cancer screening from our Robson Family Dental practice, or we may decide that an exam is necessary due to your lifestyle choices.
Lifestyle choices that can increase the risk of oral cancer include:
- Tobacco use of any kind, including but not limited to cigarettes, cigar pipes, chewing tobacco, and snuff
- Heavy alcohol use
- A previous oral cancer diagnosis
- History of significant sun expose, which increases the risk of lip cancer
What is the Oral Cancer Screening Process?
Oral cancer screening is a two-step process.
First, Dr. Robson will visually inspect your face, neck, lips, nose, and mouth. He is looking for swellings, patches of odd color, ulcers, bumps, asymmetries, or other abnormalities. Other areas he may look at include you gums, inner cheeks, tonsils, the roof of the mouth, under the tongue, and throat.
Then for the physical portion of the exam, he uses his gloved hands to feel around the inside of your mouth, your head, cheeks, under the chin, and around the jaw—some abnormalities are hard to see but can be felt. The abnormalities he is scoping for are unusual masses or nodules.
Oral cancer symptoms can be painful, yet even a painless swelling could mean problems exist elsewhere. If you’ve noticed anything that matches the above characteristics, Contact our office and schedule an appointment with Dr. Robson so he can help you get the treatment you deserve.
If There Are Signs of Cancer
If Dr. Robson notices an abnormality, you might need to return for another appointment in a few weeks to see if anything has changed. He may decide that a biopsy is necessary. A biopsy is performed by taking a small piece of tissue from a high-risk area of your body and sending the tissue to a lab to test it for cancer. This can be performed by Dr. Robson, or he may refer you to another qualified professional.
Want to get rid of those stubborn dental stains quickly? There’s no better solution than teeth whitening here in Grand Rapids, MI. It’s fast and efficient, and can bring back that spark to your smile. For more information on this option, talk to Dr. Robson himself by scheduling a one-on-one appointment.