Importance of Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening is one part of our examination of your total oral health. I am not an oral pathologist and it is vitally important that each patient be their own screener and advocate for their optimum oral health. Our exam consists of examining the nodes and glands on your neck and around your jaw and looking inside your mouth at the hard a soft tissues for abnormalities. It is also important that this exam reminds you of the importance of self examination. If we discover something that we cannot explain, we may refer you to an oral surgeon for further evaluation.
Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for 94% of oral cancers and like most cancers, has a better survival rate when diagnosed early. The tongue followed by the floor of the mouth are the most common sites. Histories of chronic tobacco use, alcohol use, and UV exposure create higher risk. There are anumber of screening devices that are now available and I will review those along with their pros and cons in the next Blog.