Every day around three Australians are diagnosed with oral cancer. While it may not be the most common cancer, early diagnosis and treatment is essential.
During your screening exam, we will closely assess the inside of your mouth to check for abnormal looking red or white patches or mouth sores. We may also physically feel the tissues in your mouth to check for lumps or other anomalies.
An oral exam cannot determine which sores are cancerous and which are not. So to be on the safe side, we dentist may refer you for further tests to determine the cause of the abnormality. The only way to definitively determine whether you have oral cancer is via a biopsy where some cells are removed and sent to a pathology laboratory for testing.
Factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer include:
• Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, and pipes
• Excessive alcohol consumption
• Previous oral cancer diagnosis.