Oral Cancer Screening

An oral cancer screening is quick and simple, but it has the power to identify mouth cancer before it’s too late.  A dentist is the ideal person to do this, as they are incredibly familiar with healthy mouths, and will be able to look out for any abnormalities that might occur.

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Why is mouth cancer screening done?

Like with any kind of cancer, catching it early gives patients a much better chance of being completely cured of the disease. If you spot the symptoms early enough, it is more likely that cancer will be able to be treated, and the treatments may be less severe or less invasive than if the cancer was more advanced.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

If you have any of the following risk factors, you are more likely to develop mouth cancer over time:

  • Tobacco use of any kind

  • Long-term and heavy sun exposure

  • Excessive alcohol use

  • A weak immune system

  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

When is the screening carried out?

Dr. Shin will be able to examine your mouth to spot signs of cancer during your routine check-up. This means that it is always vital that you attend these check-ups, to make sure that you’re getting the attention that you need. 

What happens if my dentist finds something?

If something is found during screening, it is likely that either a follow-up visit or a biopsy will be recommended. If there is a reasonable cause to believe that mouth cancer is present, they may recommend a biopsy. This can sometimes be done in the surgery, or you may need to go to see a doctor to have this done.

The main thing to remember is that even if something is found, as long as you’ve been attending your regular appointments, it is not likely to be advanced. Catching cancer at an early stage is incredibly important, as it gives you the very best chance of recovery and a normal life in the long term.