Cancer is one of the most terrifying diseases to humans because it is difficult to comprehend and can occur in any person at any time. Although some forms of cancer are more common than others, such as skin or breast, oral cancer is a real threat to many. At the office of Barry J. Cunha, DDS in Lexington, we offer oral cancer screenings to our patients as part of regular checkups and exams. The goal is to catch any cancerous or precancerous cells early to facilitate treatment and improve a patient’s chance of beating this disease.
An oral cancer screening is a visual and often tactile exam to check the interior of the mouth for cancerous or precancerous cells. At Barry J. Cunha, DDS our dentist uses several different tools. One of the most important is a light that highlights abnormal cells of a different color than the surrounding tissue. A biopsy can also be performed on a sample taken from the mouth. Most of the exam, though, is visual. The dentist will check for lumps, bumps, or strangely firm areas that need attention.
The main benefit of receiving an annual oral cancer screening is that a dentist is able to identify a potential problem early. This facilitates treatment and often gives patients a better chance of beating the disease.
The unfortunate fact about cancer is that it can affect anyone regardless of age or background. However, there are a couple of factors that can increase a person’s risk. If you engage in any of the following behaviors or have one of these characteristics, we strongly recommend you get a screening:
A major component of oral cancer is actually lip cancer, which can be developed from too much exposure to UV radiation. If you are concerned about your potential risk, schedule an appointment to see us in Lexington as soon as possible.