Individuals in Olympia can prevent late-stage oral cancer by scheduling a screening. This simple test is performed in a dental office and individuals should make this screening a regular part of their oral care. Read the frequently asked questions below to get important information about an Oral Cancer Screening in Olympia WA.
What is a screening for oral cancer and why is it necessary?
Dentists perform screenings as an early detection method for oral cancer. When any type of cancer is diagnosed in the early stages, the treatment methods have a higher success rate. During the screening, a dentist will check for any abnormalities inside the mouth.
Some individuals have a higher risk of being diagnosed with oral cancer. These risks include a past cancer diagnosis, using tobacco products and alcohol abuse. Individuals who have spent a lot of time out in the sun, without using skin protection, have a higher chance of being diagnosed with cancer.
How does a dentist perform a screening for oral cancer?
A screening for oral cancer is painless and it only takes a few minutes to complete. The dentist will first look inside the mouth to see if the individual has any red or white splotches that are visible. The dentist will then feel the inside of the individual’s mouth and note any abnormal bumps or sores.
There are additional cancer tests that can be performed if necessary. These include looking for abnormalities inside the mouth by using a special light or a blue dye. The dentist may recommend these extra tests for some individuals.
What happens after an individual has a screening for oral cancer?
Individuals should have an Oral Cancer Screening in Olympia WA at least once a year to make sure they don’t have any signs of oral cancer. If any abnormalities in the mouth are noted, individuals may need to schedule a second appointment in a few weeks to determine if the abnormal area has changed. The dentist may also recommend a biopsy to test any suspicious cells.
Individuals who want to take protective measures against oral cancer can contact Family Dental and Dentures to schedule a screening. This dental clinic also provides various other dental services including family dentistry, pediatric dentistry, dental implants, and dentures.
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