Oral Cancer Screenings
While they play a key role, your oral health is about much more than just your teeth. In order to achieve good oral health, you must also have healthy gums and soft tissue. That is why our professionals at Brian K. Rounds, DDS offer oral cancer screenings as a standard part of every oral exam. Oral cancer screenings help detect and protect you from the serious consequences of abnormal growths within your oral cavity. This non-invasive screening process is quick and hassle-free but can provide you with great benefits.
What Does This Screening Check For?
An oral cancer screening is designed to check for all of the common signs of oral cancer. The dentist will check your head, neck, and mouth for any lumps, bumps, discolorations, or other abnormalities. If they find anything abnormal, our team will likely need to complete a biopsy. A biopsy is a simple investigative procedure that involves harvesting a small amount of tissue from the growth. This tissue is collected and sent to a lab, where it is analyzed. The professionals at the lab will let us know if the material is cancerous or benign.
How Is Oral Cancer Treated?
Oral cancer is treated with a variety of approaches, depending on its severity and location. One of the first steps in treating oral cancer often involves surgery. The growth or lesion must be removed to prevent further spread or development. These surgeries can be very brief if the growth is small or more involved if it is larger or interconnected with vital tissues.
Another step in treating oral cancer involves the use of chemotherapy. While not every patient needs this treatment, it is used to kill off cancer cells that may have been missed with the surgical intervention. Another type of intervention is radiation. As with chemotherapy, it is used to kill cancer cells and put you in remission.
How Often Should I Receive an Oral Cancer Screening?
Our professionals provide an oral cancer screening at every single oral exam. This means that you will be receiving a screening every six months. While we encourage our patients to see us at these intervals to help keep their teeth healthy, maintaining your normal visit schedule is vital for cancer prevention as well.
The sooner oral cancer is detected, the more successful the treatment. That is why it is vital for you to come see us regularly. Our professionals are skilled at detecting potentially dangerous developments and getting you the treatment you need as soon as possible.
Regular screenings are especially important if you have increased risk. This includes people that are over the age of 40, and men tend to be at a higher risk as well. If you have a history of tobacco use or regularly use alcohol, you may also have a higher chance of developing oral cancer.
If you would like to learn more about the importance of oral cancer screenings, then it is time to come to see us at Brian K. Rounds, DDS. You can schedule your appointment by calling our office at (360) 764-5236.