Oral cancer is a severe and potentially fatal disease that affects millions of individuals every year around the world. It is, however, extremely curable if diagnosed early. This is when oral cancer screening comes in.
In this blog post, we’ll go over what VELscope oral cancer screening in Gainesville is, why it’s essential, who should get checked, and what to anticipate throughout the screening procedure.
What is Oral Cancer Screening?
A quick and painless examination conducted by a healthcare practitioner to check for symptoms of cancer or precancerous diseases in the mouth is known as oral cancer screening. The primary goal of oral cancer screening is early detection, which increases the possibility of effective treatment.
Why is Oral Cancer Screening Important?
Early Detection Saves Lives
One of the most significant benefits of oral cancer screening is that early identification increases the odds of effective treatment and survival significantly. When oral cancer is detected early, treatment options are often less aggressive, more effective, and associated with a better chance of survival.
Oral cancer may not show any signs in the early stages in many situations. By the time symptoms appear, the disease may have developed to an advanced stage. Screening aids in the detection of illnesses that might otherwise go undetected until symptoms become severe.
Prevention of Spread
Oral cancer can metastasize or spread to other areas of the body, making treatment more difficult and potentially fatal. Early diagnosis of cancer by screening can prevent or minimize its spread, lowering the need for more comprehensive treatments and improving the prognosis.
Reduced Treatment Complexity
Early detection of oral cancer often allows for less invasive and less complex treatment alternatives. This can result in better results, faster recovery periods, and higher patient quality of life.
Treatment of advanced oral cancer is not only more difficult but also much more expensive. Regular VELscope oral cancer screenings near you are a cost-effective means of detecting and treating oral cancer early, potentially saving both patients and healthcare systems substantial financial resources.
Oral cancer screenings can allow healthcare practitioners to identify a patient’s risk factors and recommend lifestyle modifications or therapies to lower those chances. This might include tips on quitting smoking, drinking in moderation, and keeping good dental hygiene.
Certain people are more likely to acquire oral cancer owing to variables such as cigarette and alcohol use, HPV infection, age, family history, and sun exposure. Oral cancer screening is especially essential for those in high-risk categories since it aids in early identification and intervention.
Patient Peace of Mind
Individuals can have some peace of mind knowing that they are taking the necessary steps to check their oral health by having regular oral cancer tests. This can help reduce anxiety and promote healthy behaviors.
Who Should Get Screened?
While anybody can get oral cancer, certain people are at a higher risk and should have regular checkups from a professional dentist near you. Those at higher risk include:
- Tobacco Users: Tobacco use, including smoking and chewing, is a considerable risk factor for oral cancer.
- Alcohol Consumers: Excessive alcohol use raises the risk, especially when mixed with cigarette use.
- HPV Infection: Some strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) are associated with oral cancer.
- Age: Oral cancer risk increases with age, with most instances identified in those over 40.
- Family History: A family history of oral cancer may raise the risk of the disease.
- Sun Exposure: Prolonged sun exposure might raise the risk of developing lip cancer.
- Poor Oral Hygiene: Oral hygiene neglect can cause persistent irritation of the oral tissues, raising the risk of cancer.
What to Expect During the Screening Process
Oral cancer screening is a straightforward process that can be conducted by a variety of healthcare providers such as dentists, oral surgeons, and primary care providers. Here’s what to expect:
- Medical History Review: Your medical history, including any risk factors or symptoms you may have encountered, will be requested by the healthcare practitioner.
- Visual Examination: Your lips, gums, tongue, throat, and the interior of your mouth will be visually examined for any abnormalities, such as sores, lumps, or discolouration.
- Physical Examination: They may use gloves and palpate (feel) your neck, jaw, and oral tissues to look for any abnormal lumps or tumors.
- Additional Tests: Additional testing, such as a biopsy, in which a tiny tissue sample is obtained for further investigation in a laboratory, can be recommended in some situations.
Take Proactive Steps to Look After Your Oral Health
It is essential to take proactive actions for your oral health, and one of the most effective ways to do so is to schedule an oral cancer screening at Georgia Smile Team.
Early identification is the key to effective treatment, and our skilled dentist in Gainesville is here to assist. Don’t put off taking care of your dental health until symptoms appear; take charge now to ensure a better, brighter future.
Schedule your oral cancer screening with us now to stay ahead in the fight against oral cancer.