Dental professionals perform a variety of assessments to give their patients the best care possible. They will need to complete tests and examinations to determine if their patients exhibit any signs of oral cancer. Unfortunately, many patients do not report signs until later stages. At the final stage, the outlook for the patients is not great. By learning about the disease, the patients may seek examinations and testing sooner and increase their survival rates.
- Early Detection is Vital
Dental professionals complete screenings to determine if their patients have oral cancer. At the first sign of oral cancer, the dentist sends the patient for further tests with an oncologist. The cancer specialist will conduct more conclusive tests to find any cancer cells in the mouth or other parts of the body. By detecting oral cancer earlier, the dental professional can catch it at a more treatable stage, and the patient has a greater chance of survival. Patients that suspect that they have oral cancer should schedule an appointment at a Local Dental Office now.
- There Are Three Stages
The first stage defines the tumor size, and the first stage is treatable. Typically, the tumor has been discovered in the mouth, and it could be removed via surgery. At the second stage, the tumor has increased in size and spread to the lymph nodes.
The patient will need to undergo tumor removal surgery and will start chemotherapy to eliminate any additional cancer cells in the body. At the final stage, cancer has spread to other parts of the body and organ systems. It is more difficult for doctors to treat it at the final stage, and the chances of survival are decreased significantly.
- Limiting Exposure to the Sun Can Decrease Risks
Dental professionals and doctors recommend that patients limit their exposure to the sun and stay indoors during hours when ultraviolet sun rays are present. They should wear sunscreen to prevent exposure and protect their skin.
Skin cancer is a common condition that happens because of overexposure to ultraviolet sun rays. Skin cancer can also spread to the mouth, face, and throat. Dental professionals will present recommendations for patients who are at risk of oral cancer because of a previous history of cancer or a family history of the disease.
- Heavy Drinkers and Smokers Are At the Greatest Risk
Patients who are heavy drinkers or smokers are at the greatest risk of developing oral cancer. Smoking within itself presents the risk of a variety of cancers that can develop in the mouth or affect the mouth, face, or neck. If the patient is also a heavy drinker, they are increasing their risks of liver cancer and other forms of the disease. These patients should undergo more frequent screenings for oral cancer and should report any signs of the disease to their dentist or their doctor.
Dental professionals follow careful strategies to test patients for oral cancer and decrease their risks. The disease can cause tumors and cancer cells to grow in the mouth, throat, neck, or face. Cancer can also spread to other areas of the body, and if it spreads the patient’s survival rates decrease dramatically.
The patients are screened for oral cancer during routine dental examinations. The dentists review the mouth for signs of the diseases. If they find any abnormalities, the dentist can perform a biopsy and determine if the patient has developed the disease.