One of the most important treatments a dentist can offer is oral cancer screening. At Beverly Dental Group in Beverly, MA, we offer these screenings as part of a basic exam to help improve your overall health and wellness.
An oral cancer screening is a professional exam that searches for cancerous or precancerous tissues in the mouth. The exam can be performed by a dentist or doctor and is best done on an annual basis, so a baseline is established, and it is easier for the professional to see if anything has changed. The goal is to be able to identify cancer early so that there is a greater chance for successful treatment.
During an oral cancer screening, our dentist uses a broad range of visual and tactile tools to search for cancerous cells. This can include taking a biopsy of a suspicious lump or bump, using a special light that highlights irregular cells, or using their hands to feel for unnatural firmness or tenderness. If there is a specific area you are worried about, you can bring up these concerns during your visit.
Cancer is a dangerous disease because it can emerge at any time in anyone and is often asymptomatic until it has a chance to develop. People also don’t look inside their mouths often and tend to fear the more common cancers like lung and breast.
The entire goal of an oral cancer screening is to find and diagnose it early so you can begin treatment like surgery to remove a cancerous growth or chemo to destroy the cells. Oral cancer screenings can be performed at any age.
Some people are more at risk of developing cancer than others and should seek out a qualified dental office like Beverly Dental Group in Beverly, MA. If you engage in any of the following behaviors or have any of these traits, consider getting a screening as soon as possible:
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