Oral Cancer Screenings
What are Oral Cancer Screenings?
Oral cancer affects millions of people worldwide each year. It often starts as a small lesion or patch within the mouth and can eventually become large enough to affect your mouth and jaw area. Before it is allowed to progress this much, we are able to perform an oral cancer screening to find areas that look unusual. We even utilize VELscope technology, which is a handheld device that illuminates areas of cancerous or problematic soft tissue.
Why would an Oral Cancer Screening be needed?
Many different factors contribute to oral cancer. In some cases, it’s simply hereditary, but most people develop oral cancer after years of smoking or chewing tobacco. Constant exposure to the chemicals in tobacco and the irritants that come from each puff of a cigarette can cause cancer cells to form. While prevention is key, early detection can prevent the cancer from spreading and getting worse.
Who is a candidate for an Oral Cancer Screening?
Every adult, regardless of their lifestyle habits, should have an oral cancer screening done at least once a year. The screening is quick, easy and takes just minutes in our office. We perform both a visual examination of the tongue, cheeks and gums while utilizing VELscope technology to highlight problem areas. If necessary, we will perform a biopsy if there is an area that is unusual.
What can be expected during an Oral Cancer Screening?
The cancer screening is easy and quickly done right here in our office. We typically perform the exam in conjunction with your checkup visits and make notes of any changes in your medical chart. We perform a visual exam, normally lifting the tongue and looking underneath for any unusual lesions or spots. We then utilize VELscope technology on areas that are questionable so that we can get a better view of what’s going on. VELscope often helps to show problem areas that simply cannot be seen with a normal examination. The entire screening takes minutes and is minimally invasive for our patients.
If you would like to schedule an appointment for an oral cancer screening, or learn more about our VelScope technology, call us today so that we can get you in as soon as feasibly possible.