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Oral Cancer Screening Dacula, GA
Understanding the significance of oral cancer screening starts with knowing what it is and how it works.
This procedure is a routine exam carried out by a professional healthcare provider to search for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth.
The goal is pretty straightforward - to detect oral cancer early when it's at its most treatable stage.
ORAL CANCER SCREENING PROCESS
During an oral cancer screening exam, your dentist or doctor will look inside your mouth to check for red or white patches or mouth sores.
They will also feel the tissues in your mouth to check for lumps or other abnormalities.
In addition to a visual examination of your mouth, your doctor may perform a more detailed examination of the mouth and throat. This could involve using special lights or dyes that help highlight abnormal cells in the mouth.
Some oral cancer screenings may also involve a brush test, also known as a cytology test. This involves collecting cells from a suspicious lesion in the mouth using a brush.
These cells are then viewed under a microscope to determine if they are cancerous.
It's important to note that oral cancer screening is not diagnostic, but rather a preventive measure. If any suspicious areas are found during the screening process, your doctor may recommend a biopsy to remove a sample of cells for laboratory testing to determine whether cancer cells are present.
Oral cancer screening is a quick and painless process, and it's often performed during a routine dental examination. Regular screenings can help detect oral cancer at an early stage, potentially saving lives.
Despite its benefits, oral cancer screening has limitations. It may not detect all mouth cancers or precancerous lesions because some areas of the mouth are difficult to view.
Therefore, maintaining regular dental check-ups and cleanings is crucial.
AFTER THE ORAL SCREENING
After an oral cancer screening, the dentist or doctor will discuss the results with the patient.
If no signs of cancer or precancerous lesions are found, the patient will be informed and no further action will be required until the next routine screening.
If the screening reveals any abnormal areas or growths in the mouth, the healthcare provider may recommend further diagnostic tests.
These could include a biopsy, where a small sample of tissue is removed and sent to a laboratory for analysis to determine if cancer cells are present.
Depending on the results of these additional tests, a diagnosis of oral cancer may be confirmed or ruled out.
If oral cancer is confirmed, the healthcare provider will discuss treatment options with the patient. These could include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments.
Post-screening, it's crucial for patients to continue regular check-ups and screenings, especially if they are at a higher risk for oral cancer.
This includes individuals who use tobacco or alcohol, have a family history of oral cancer, or have been exposed to the human papillomavirus (HPV). Regular screenings can help detect oral cancer at an early stage when it is more treatable.
Finally, patients are encouraged to maintain good oral hygiene and a healthy lifestyle to reduce their risk of oral cancer. This includes regular brushing and flossing, limiting alcohol consumption, avoiding tobacco products, and eating a balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables.