Oral Cancer Screening

Oral Cancer Screening 2018-04-02T13:28:57+00:00

Oral Cancer Screening

There is significant lack of awareness with regards to oral cancer. But it is just as fatal as any other type of cancer as evidenced by the fact that nearly nearly every hour one person loses his/her life to oral cancer. What makes this type of cancer especially notorious is the fact that it is not easily identifiable until it has already reached a stage of no return. There is only 60% chance of survival for oral cancer.

Early detection can increase chances of survival by nearly 80%. Oral cancer screening tests are there to forewarn you and truly save your life. Regular dental check-ups have oral cancer screening incorporated into the check up itself.

An oral cancer examination is a quick and painless process. The main aim is to identify any discernable difference in the lining tissues of the mouth, lips, and tongue, which may point towards the early stages of cancer. The actual process is a visual and tactile affair and if any anomalies are noted or further research is necessary, a small tissue sample is taken and sent for further examination.

Possible Exposures

A commonly held belief is that people over the age of 40 are more at risk, but the dynamics of cancer patients have changed significantly. Younger people are the fastest growing segment when it comes to oral cancer patients and a fair amount of blame for this statistic can be placed on the sexually transmitted virus known as HPV16 or The Human Papilloma Virus.

The more traditional reasons for oral cancer are still smoker and drinkers of middle ages, who are more at risk of oral cancer than anyone else. Also, extreme exposure to sun can lead to skin cancer which can also be associated to lip cancer. Genetic factors are understood to have a strong impact as well.


Thankfully a screening for oral cancer is part of your routine dental check up, which is another reason why you should never shirk on your regular dental check up. The screening process includes a careful examination of your lips, tongue, mouth, and also for discoloration or unusual sores. You may be palpated for lump and swelling detection, and your tongue may be gently tugged on from side to side to provide greater clarity for the dentist administering the check up. A special light or other technical procedures may also be conducted.

Though you may be able to check for sores and swellings yourself, if the problem persists you may want consult a specialist. Be mindful that oral cancer detection is not an in house process and for effective and timely detection you must be visiting your dentist regularly as the process requires an in-depth medical report prepared in a laboratory.