Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, the floor of the mouth, hard and soft palates, sinuses, and phalanx (throat). It can be life-threatening but is more easily managed if detected and treated in the early stages. An oral cancer screening near you is a visual and physical exam of the oral cavity and connected tissues to check for problems.
The Oral Cancer Screening Center near you will begin screening with a visual exam, during which the face, neck, lips, inside of the nose, and oral cavity are checked over for asymmetries, swellings, bumps, patches of color, ulcerations, or other abnormalities. All removable dental appliances must be taken out to expose every area.
After or during the visual exam, your dentist in Prescott, AZ will feel the head and cheeks, around the jaw, under the chin, and in the oral cavity for unusual nodules or masses. Another sign of trouble is immobility in tissue that is normally mobile.
A light, mirror, tongue depressor, and other standard pieces of medical equipment may be used for an oral cancer screening, as well as specialized examining tools. These include a brush that removes cells for testing and a flexible fiber optic camera, which travels into the nose and down the back of the throat to look at the larynx and pharynx.
Keep in mind that an oral cancer screening is precautionary, not diagnostic. Even if your Prescott, AZ dentist finds no signs of trouble, he or she may recommend further screenings at regular intervals, especially if the patient has such habits as using tobacco or drinking. If something is detected, you’ll be referred for further tests. However, it’s important to remember that these cases are not a diagnosis of cancer and if it is, early diagnosis reduces treatment-related health problems later on. When you feel a sore that is not healing or a lump, we recommend you immediately find an oral cancer screening center in 86305.