Oral cancer remains one of the deadliest and life threatening of all malignancies. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, oral cancer will kill one person per hour, twenty four a day. The death rate of an oral cancer is significantly higher than most commonly heard types of cancer. In US alone, oral cancer will cause 13500 deaths this year. Oral cancer is constantly and diagnosed already in its late stages when it has spread to other locations, probably the lymph nodes of the neck, which made it one of the deadliest. Oral cancer has a high probability to cause tumors, which mean surviving the cancer can still cost one a second cancer.
A check of physical health condition will check if one has oral cancer. Symptoms of oral cancer include but not limited to sore in the mouth that does not go away, lumps in the mouth, thickening of the cheek, bleeding, loose teeth, speech that slurs, and swollen lymph nodes. However, by the time the cancer is detected, it may already be too late. In its early stages, it can go unnoticed if not checked. There can be no pain and no obvious physical change at its advent. The British Columbia Cancer Agency documented more than 500 new cases of oral cancer in 2009.
Thankfully, eighty percent of oral cancer cases can be detected by the dentist in its early stages. The dentist can detect the cancer through series of dental tests and other optional tests. This article aims to show how.
Your dentist will inspect the soft tissues of the mouth, including the gums, tongue, lips, cheek, and the roof of the mouth. Your dentist will check your teeth if it is loose are it no longer fits. A slurred speech can also be an indication of an oral cancer. He will also check for possible lumps around the mouth, along the jaw and neck. If he notices some suspicious lump or symptom that looks that it will not be going way for some time, your dentist may recommended to do a biopsy or refer you to another dental or medical professional to do a biopsy for you. Biopsy is taking of a sample tissue that is deemed abnormal.
Your dentist might also require you to undergo optional screening tests that use special screening tools that use special light, dyes, or scrapings to examine particular areas in your mouth comprehensively. These exams are not a required part of the dental exam, but results can be used by the dentist to accurately examine your mouth and evaluate the results to determine your diagnosis.
Oral cancer can be quite deadly if not detected in its earlier stages. So, be sure to maintain a good oral hygiene and adopting healthy oral practices (e.g. regular tooth brushing and flossing). Be sure to involve your dentist as much as you can by undergoing regular dental examinations as dentists play a key role now to prevent oral cancer and possible death.