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How Oral Cancer Screening can Mean the Difference Between Life and Death

944335_blogIt may sound dramatic and far-fetched to say that a trip to the dentist could save your life, but with oral cancer screening, this really is the case. We are eager to encourage as many of our patients as possible to undergo screening in order to ensure that any potential signs or symptoms can be spotted at the earliest stage. Screening takes just a few minutes, but it can really make the difference between life and death.

About oral cancer

Oral cancer is found in the soft tissue inside the mouth and throat. Although it is relatively unknown compared to some other forms of cancer, it is actually becoming increasingly prevalent in the UK and it kills more people every year than cervical and testicular cancer combined. In the last ten years, the number of cases has almost doubled and experts predict that this is a trend that will continue in the future.

The main symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • slow-healing ulcers and mouth sores
  • abnormal swelling and lumps
  • difficulty swallowing
  • a persistent sort throat
  • red or white patches in the mouth

There have been major advances in cancer treatment in recent years, but in the case of oral cancer there has been little improvement in survival rates. This is largely due to the fact that many people are not diagnosed until an advanced stage where there is a high risk that cancerous cells have already spread.

Why is screening important?

Symptoms of oral cancer can be hard to spot and this is why screening is so important. With screening, we use the latest technology to spot early changes in the tissue, which may be early indicators of cancer. Once these changes have been identified, further tests can be arranged and a diagnosis can be confirmed or ruled out. Early diagnosis can have a radical impact on survival chances, increasing rates from less than 50 percent up to over 90 percent.

What happens when you have an oral cancer screening test?

Oral cancer screening is quick, painless and very simple. We use specially designed technology to look inside the mouth and identify abnormal changes in the tissue, which are highlighted using different shades of light. The test takes just a few minutes and you won’t feel any pain or discomfort at all.

Call us now to book your oral screening test.

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