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Oral Cancer screening and prevention

Oral cancer prevention

It has been observed that over last few years, number of people diagnosed with mouth and throat cancers has been increasing due to no. of reasons.

If you’re concerned about your oral cancer risk, visit Prolife Cancer Centre and talk to our cancer doctor about ways you can reduce your risk and which screening tests might be appropriate for you.

Oral cancer screening tests are performed by cancer specialists to identify signs of oral cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth. The objective of screening is early detection of oral cancer so that if it’s symptoms are noticed it can be cure in initial stages. Doctor perform some special tests to identify lumps or abnormal cells in mouth. Note that screening is performed to reduce risk of dying due to oral cancer.

Why it’s done?

The aim of oral cancer screening is to detect mouth cancer or precancerous lesions that later lead to mouth cancer and remove it in early stages. Person 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:

  • Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, among others
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Previous oral cancer diagnosis
  • History of significant sun exposure, which increases the risk of lip cancer

How can you prepare for screening?

Oral cancer screening doesn’t require any special preparation. It can be performed during a routine check up.

What you can expect from screening?

During screening test, doctor looks inside the mouth and looks for red or white patches or mouth sores. He also checks for lumps or other abnormalities. The doctor may also examine throat and neck for lumps.

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    Additional tests

    In addition to above, some special tests are also performed for oral cancer. Special tests may involve:

    • Oral cancer screening dye.Rinsing your mouth with a special blue dye before an exam. Abnormal cells in your mouth may take up the dye and appear blue.
    • Oral cancer screening light.Shining a light in your mouth during an exam. The light makes healthy tissue appear dark and makes abnormal tissue appear white.

    Everyone should go for screening at least once in a year to keep their mouth healthy.

    How can you prevent oral cancer?

    Oral cancer is a highly preventable disease and also very treatable, if caught early.

    • Don’t use tobacco in any form. If you use tobacco, quit.
    • Limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day if you’re a woman or two drinks per day if you’re a man
    • Stay out of the sun, especially between 10 am and 4 pm when sunlight is strongest
    • Always use lip balm with SPF 30 or higher
    • Eat lots of fruits and vegetables

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