Oral Cancer Screening
Whenever you come to us for dental check-ups and we provide care for you, we’re also using the opportunity to observe many different aspects of your overall health and not just your smile. Most people do not know that a large amount of surface area lines the mouth and are usually surprised when they find out. Normally this lining in the mouth repairs itself quickly, but then it is still susceptible to some changes. A further evaluation or monitoring may be needed in such instances. That is where oral cancer screening comes into play.
Everyone can be stricken with oral cancer. But those with a higher risk should arrange for checkups with their dentists more frequently. Some of those that are more likely to get oral cancer include:
- Tobacco Users – Smokers are at a higher risk of getting afflicted with oral cancer than nonsmokers or nontobacco users. Up to 3000 chemicals can be found in Tobacco. And some of these chemicals are inclusive of those also found in embalming fluids and pesticides.
- Alcohol Abusers – People who consume alcohol in large quantities are at a risk of developing mouth cancer.
- Sun Bathers – While moderate exposure to the sun is good for you, indiscriminate exposure is bad for you. You can develop cancer on your lip in the case of overexposure to the sun.
- Betel Nut Chewers – Chewing betel quid is bad for your overall oral health
- People with a history of oral cancer
- People who engage in oral sex – These ones can become infected with a certain strain of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) that can lead to oral cancer.
When cellular changes occur below the surface, it not easy to detect such changes until they are advanced to a critical stage.
An early detection of oral cancer, however, and follow up treatment can increase the possibility of a positive outcome significantly. That is why a regular checkup is very essential. A figure of death resulting from oral cancer as reported by The American Cancer Society is put at about 7,000. This is out of the 30,000 cases of an oral cancer diagnosis that occur annually. If you have reason to suspect that there are unusual changes in your mouth tissue, you should contact your dentist and would likely undergo a biopsy and a microscopic analysis in a lab.
There are other changes that are non-cancerous and can happen in tissues of your mouth. This could arise from oral warts or even autoimmune lesions and other causes. You might wonder, how can I conduct an oral cancer screening near me? For oral cancer screening treatment Houston TX, Dr. Mai’s background in oral pathology would come to bear in determining if any noticed abnormalities should be taken out or just monitored.
To note, we know the strong addictive hold tobacco possesses on a large number of health conscious individuals. Therefore, if you have interest and determination to quit smoking, we would be glad to be your partner and support you in your efforts. Have a discussion with your local hygienist or Dr. Mai. You can get effective strategies and resources that would help greatly in stopping you from smoking.