Screening for various types of cancer has become a routine part of our healthcare regimens with our primary care providers. At Glen Ellyn Dentistry, screening for cancers of the oral cavity and nasopharyngeal cancers is part of our normal dental care procedures, and we perform oral cancer screenings during every patient’s regular dental examinations.
What Is an Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer screening is the practice of examining patients for signs and symptoms of oral cancer. Screening is performed whether or not the patient is in a high-risk category for developing oral cancer.
When Is Oral Cancer Screening Recommended?
Unlike other types of cancer that have official screening recommendations, no recommendations exist for oral cancer. For this reason, we like to play it safe and screen patients during every dental examination. Screening is quick, painless, non-invasive, and simple for our dentists to perform.
We recommend screening for everyone, especially patients who fall into a high-risk category for developing oral cancer. These high-risk categories include:
Individuals over the age of 40 (especially men)
Individuals who have been diagnosed with human papillomavirus (HPV)
Individuals with a history of sun exposure and sunburn
Individuals who have previously been diagnosed with oral cancer
Why Is It Important To Screen for Oral Cancer?
Like other types of cancer screening, oral cancer screening is performed to detect the earliest signs of oral cancer to ensure early diagnosis and prompt treatment. As is the case with most types of cancer, early treatment is strongly correlated with the most successful treatment outcomes.
What To Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening
During a routine oral cancer screening, our dentists visually and physically examine our patients’ lips, cheeks, mouths, gums, tongues, throats, and necks. We look for potential signs of oral cancer, such as abrasions, sores, or lesions in the mouth, spots that are unusually colored, and unusual textures on the soft tissues. Additionally, we feel and gently palpate our patients’ soft tissues for abnormal lumps, bumps, or growths. These abnormalities could indicate early signs of oral cancer.
What If You Find Something Abnormal During My Screening?
An oral cancer screening is not a diagnosis. It is simply the detection of an abnormality. If we detect something unusual during your screening, our dentist can provide you with further instructions for assessment by your general healthcare provider or an oncologist. These types of findings are usually followed up with a tissue biopsy to determine if the abnormality is, in fact, cancerous.
Oral Cancer Screening in Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Our dentists at Glen Ellyn Dentistry take the oral health and overall well-being of our patients very seriously. If you believe you might be at an increased risk of developing oral cancer, we recommend that you discuss your concerns with our dentists so that we are aware of your situation and know what to look for during your routine oral cancer screening.
To learn more about the importance of oral cancer screening or to request an appointment, we welcome you to contact Glen Ellyn Dentistry at 630-942-0727 today.
Get Started Today!
We look forward to welcoming new patients into our office and seeing our existing patients again. To request an appointment, we welcome you to contact our office at 630-942-0727 or complete the appointment request form on our website.