How to detect oral cancer early?
Oral cancer is among the highly prevalent cancers across the globe and remains a significant public health problem. Due to late diagnosis, high mortality rates and morbidity, it remains a challenge to humanity, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you have the proper knowledge and good doctors around you, navigating your way through this experience is easy. Like other cancer types, age acts as a risk factor for oral cancer as well.
Some early signs of oral cancer
The prominent age group for oral cancer is 41-60, and men remain at a higher risk than women. Oral cancer can aggressively affect the patient’s cheeks, tongue, teeth lips, throat, sinuses, teeth, palate, below the tongue or the gums.
Most of the time, oral cancer is detected later than other cancer types, and that is why doctors emphasise knowing your body and what is normal for you. The sooner you detect the early signs of oral cancer, the sooner your doctor can devise a way to fight it. When you visit your dentist regularly, a regular screening procedure for abnormalities is carried out as they may turn into oral cancer in the future.
Some of these signs are:
● A sore throat that isn’t healing.
● Random numbness or bleeding in your mouth.
● Dentures suddenly stop fitting
● Tongue pain
● Loose teeth
● White or red sore in your mouth
● Lump in the throat
● Stiff jaw or pain while chewing
While most of these symptoms are relative to oral cancer, others may be confused with cold sores or gum diseases. Hence, it would be best if you discussed your symptoms with your dentist or doctor.
How your dentist detects oral cancer?
A doctor or a dentist might use these tests or procedures to detect oral cancer.
Physical exam: When you visit your dentist or doctor, they will examine the lips and mouth for any visible abnormalities such as sores, white patches (leukoplakia).
Tissue removal for biopsy: If the dentist finds a suspicious area, they might remove a sample of cells for lab testing through biopsy. They can either use a cutting tool to draw a tiny part of the tissue or a needle to extract some sample. The lab attendant analyses the tissue cells for cancer or precancerous changes that point towards cancer risk in the future.
Based on the reports from your tests, your doctor will determine whether you have cancer and if so, what the best treatment course is. Depending on the stage of your cancer, your doctor may advise chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery. There are alternative treatments as well, and you can discuss them with your doctor. Find out more at Damira Dental Studios.