Have you ever had a mouth cancer cancer check before? Dan will be performing free mouth cancer health checks at the Cardiff Bay retail park on Saturday, August 30th. So come on down with your family and friends for your health check, find out more about mouth cancer and why its important to get checked out.
What does oral cancer screening involve?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the process its very similar to a regular check up where your dentist looks over the inside of your mouth to check for red or white patches or mouth sores.Many people have abnormal sores in their mouths, with most of them being noncancerous, so there is no need to panic if you have a sore.An oral exam can't actually determine which mouth sores are cancerous, but if your dentist finds an unusual sore, they can refer you to a specialist for further testing to be on the same side.The only way to determine whether you have oral cancer is to remove some abnormal cells and test them for cancer in a procedure called a biopsy. If mouth cancer is detected early you have a better chance of a full recovery.
Additional tests for oral cancer screening
Some dentists use special tests in addition to the oral exam to screen for oral cancer, although its not been proven whether these tests offer any additional benefit over the standard oral examination. Special oral cancer screening tests include:
Rinsing your mouth with a dye before an exam
Your dentist may apply a blue dye to the inside of your mouth or ask you to rinse your mouth with a blue dye before your oral exam. If there are any abnormal cells in your mouth, they usually appear blue. Some studies have shown there could be some benefit for people with a very high risk of oral cancer, such as those who've already been diagnosed with one oral cancer and have a risk of a second cancer
Shining a light in your mouth during an exam
Many dentists use a special light to examine the inside of your mouth. The special light makes healthy tissue appear dark and makes abnormal tissue appear white. Some researchers have reported finding abnormal areas with the special light that weren't discovered during a standard oral exam. There's little evidence that using a special light to examine the mouth has any advantage over a standard oral exam.
Who should consider oral cancer screening
People with a high risk of oral cancer may be more likely to benefit from oral cancer screening. Factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer include:
- Smoking tobacco use of any kind
- Previous oral cancer diagnosis
If you have any questions about how you can prevent the risk of oral cancer the Bamboo Dental team will be happy to answer your questions at the mobile cancer screening clinic or visit our facebook page.