Advanced Dental wants to help prevent the onset of oral cancer in its patients and help prevent this terrible disease in others through educational resources such as this blog. Did you know that only half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years? The key to preventing this disease is to detect oral cancer early where precancerous conditions can be identified. As part of our routine dental examinations Dr. Maroon will check for precancerous cells in your mouth and around your lips. They often start as a tiny white or red spot or sore area in your mouth.
Your Oral Cancer Screening
Because oral cancer screenings are part of the routine dental examination you should be evaluated on a biannual basis or more if your dentist is recommending that you see them more often. During these regular check-ups Dr. Maroon will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth looking for signs of precancerous or cancerous symptoms. Many times patients will be completely unaware of the problems within their mouth so it is important to have an evaluation from a dentist to ensure a professional examination. If Dr. Maroon finds a sore that shows signs of the disease he will treat it and ask you to return to provide check-ups on your oral health.
Often times you can be tested by a simple process called a brush test. A brush test collects cells from suspicions lesions within the mouth. The cells are sent to a lab for further testing and the results are sent back to the dentist. If precancerous or cancer cells are found, then the lesion will have to be removed.
Oral Cancer Prevention
Preventing oral cancer starts with regular dental examinations to check for precancerous conditions. Also avoiding smoking or tobacco products as well as alcohol use can prevent oral cancer, especially as combining them greatly increases risk. Knowing the signs of cancerous or precancerous cells such as white or red patches or spots within your mouth and getting them checked out are also a wise prevention technique. Prolonged sun exposure may put you at risk of lip cancer, so using sun screen or a protective hat is advised for people who spend great deals of time outdoors.