An oral cancer screening involves a visual and physical exam of the oral cavity and connected tissues.
Your doctor may recommend a screening if you are at an increased risk of oral cancer, but it may simply be a part of your regular dental exam.
During your oral cancer screening, your doctor will inspect your face, neck, lips, inside of the nose and oral cavity looking for abnormalities.
Your doctor may also feel your head and cheeks, around your jaw, under your chin and in your mouth to feel for unusual nodules or masses.
An oral cancer screening can usually be completed at your regular dental exam. If you are at an increased risk of oral cancer or have signs of a potential problem, call your dental office to schedule.
If you notice red or white patches, pain, tenderness or numbness in your mouth or lips, a lump, changes in the way your teeth fit together or trouble moving normally mobile tissue, it is important to contact your doctor.
Those who have had significant sun exposure, HPV, tobacco users and alcohol drinkers are at a greater risk of having oral cancer.
If your doctor finds an area of concern during your screening, there are a few options on how to proceed. Your doctor will advise you on the best way to proceed which may include a follow-up visit or biopsy.
It’s important to have an oral cancer screening, especially if you are at an increased risk or identify any areas of concern.