Oral Cancer Screenings in Mississauga, ON.
Oral cancer can be completely asymptomatic until it reaches an advanced stage. The goal of cancer screenings is to diagnose cancer as early as possible. Why is it better to detect cancer early? Cancer is much easier to treat at an early stage before it starts to spread. If you have localized cancer, it can usually be surgically removed. Metastatic cancer, however, is harder to treat.
At Pearl Dental Care in Mississauga, ON. we provide oral cancer screenings to all our patients. Rest assured that this is done as a precaution and that even if something suspicious is found, it doesn’t have to end up being cancer.
What We Look for in Screenings
During screenings, we’ll use our tools to take a good look all over your oral cavity. We’ll also need to gently feel around using our fingers or tools. It won’t be uncomfortable or take long. There are certain things that we usually look for.
Ulcers, especially irregular and large ones, are things that worry us. Masses or areas of discoloration also prompt further investigation. Some patients are at a higher risk of oral cancer than others. Patients who have a long history of smoking, or those who drink alcohol frequently are at a higher risk. Those with a positive personal or family history are also more likely to develop oral cancer.
Patients ask us about what’ll happen next if something suspicious is found. The answer will depend on how suspicious it is according to what we find here at Pearl Dental Care. Highly suspicious lesions will need to be biopsied and sent to a pathology lab for further assessment. On the other hand, we might ask you to return in two weeks if a lesion looks benign to see whether or not it heals spontaneously.
Taking a biopsy of a lesion doesn’t mean that it’s cancer. The diagnosis can only be made by the pathologist. Rest assured that most biopsies end up pre-cancerous or benign lesions that can easily be treated. We’ll take good care of you and answer all of your questions.