- reddish or white areas
- a thick or hard spot
- a lump
- a roughened or crusted area
- a sore that bleeds easily or doesn’t heal
A Answers (7)
A dentist or doctor can diagnose oral cancer by examining your entire mouth for signs of abnormal growth. That includes your lips and the inside of your mouth, including the gums, the inside of your cheeks, the roof and floor of your mouth, and your tongue. If an abnormaility is found, your doctor may remove a small sample of tissue (biopsy) for further study. Typical warning signs include:
American Dental Association answeredOral cancer screening is a routine part of a dental examination. Regular check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. You may have a very small, but dangerous, oral spot or sore and not be aware of it.
Your dentist will carefully examine the inside of your mouth and tongue and in some patients may notice a flat, painless, white or red spot or a small sore. Although most of these are harmless, some are not. Harmful oral spots or sores often look identical to those that are harmless, but testing can tell them apart. If you have a sore with a likely cause, your dentist may treat it and ask you to return for re-examination.
Dentists often will notice a spot or sore that looks harmless and does not have a clear cause. To ensure that a spot or sore is not dangerous, your dentist may choose to perform a simple test, such as a brush test. A brush test collects cells from a suspicious lesion in the mouth. The cells are sent to a laboratory for analysis. If precancerous cells are found, the lesion can be surgically removed if necessary during a separate procedure. It's important to know that all atypical and positive results from a brush test must be confirmed by incisional biopsy and histology.
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Usually, the first step to an oral cancer diagnosis is that a dentist will notice a discoloration in your mouth during your routine dental exam. At that point, they will refer you to a specialist for additional testing. Your specialist may give you an MRI or CT scan to get a picture of the inside of your body in order to look for growths. MRIs and CT scans do not, however, generally give an indication of whether a growth is cancerous or not. If they find a growth, you will need a tissue biopsy, during which the doctor takes a small sample of the growth using a needle, to determine whether you have cancer.
John Van der Werff, DDS, Dentistry, answered
It is diagnosed by a combination of things. This includes the history of the lesion, what the lesion looks like, and what it feels like. Testing is also required that may include cytology, PET scans, x-rays, MRI, blood tests, and finally a biopsy of the lesion.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed the cancer is staged and a treatment plan is put together.
Jerry Gordon, Dentistry, answered
Oral cancer is responsible for about 8000 deaths in the United States every year. The disease most commonly affects the sides of the tongue, floor of the mouth (under the tongue), soft palate, lips and gums. Oral cancer will often appear as red, white or discolored patches or lumps, or as an ulcer that does not heal. Oral cancer tends to be more common in men than in women, and habits such as the consumption of alcohol, smoking or chewing tobacco, as well as prolonged exposure to sunlight have all been identified as significant risk factors. Although the early stages of oral cancer are usually painless, later cases can cause chronic pain, numbness, and the inability for the mouth to function normally. Sadly, oral cancer has only a 50% five-year survival rate.
An oral cancer screening is an important part of every dental examination, but potentially dangerous lesions can sometimes go unnoticed. The reason is that many oral lesions tend to look the same. Pizza burns, canker sores, fever blisters, lacerations, as well as oral cancer can all appear surprisingly similar. When a dentist evaluates an oral lesion, he or she will ask the patient some questions regarding when and how it appeared, and then wait about two weeks to see if it resolves. If the lesion has not partially or completely healed in two weeks, a biopsy is usually needed. If the dentist suspects oral cancer, it is often preferable to have a dental specialist, namely an oral and maxillofacial surgeon perform the biopsy.
Riverside Cancer Care Center answered
If you have symptoms that suggest oral cancer, your doctor or dentist will check your mouth and throat for red or white patches, lumps, swelling, or other problems. A physical exam includes looking carefully at the roof of your mouth, back of your throat, and insides of your cheeks and lips. Your doctor or dentist also will gently pull out your tongue so it can be checked on the sides and underneath. The floor of your mouth and lymph nodes in your neck will also be checked.
If your doctor or dentist does not find the cause of your symptoms, you may be referred to a specialist. An ear, nose, and throat specialist can see the back of your nose, tongue, and throat by using a small, long-handled mirror or a lighted tube. Sometimes pictures need to be made with a CT scan or MRI to find a hidden tumor.
The removal of a small piece of tissue to look for cancer cells is called a biopsy. Usually, a biopsy is done with local anesthesia. Sometimes, it's done under general anesthesia. A pathologist then looks at the tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells. A biopsy is the only sure way to know if the abnormal area is cancer.
This answer is based on source information from theNational Cancer Institute.
Jonathan B. Levine, DMD, Dentistry, answeredThere are two screening tests that can be administered by dental professionals that make it simple and painless to diagnose oral cancer. The first is the Velscope, which sees early changes in the cells in the mouth where they become dysplastic or unhealthy. The Velscope's blue spectrum light causes the soft tissues of the mouth to naturally fluoresce, looking like a green apple color. If there is an abnormality, a dysplasia or unhealthy cell, the oral health professional will see the green color turn black.
If abnormal tissue appears, there is a second revolutionary screening test, the Oral CDX brush. This test is like a pap smear for your mouth. The pap smear has had a huge impact on survival rates for cervical cancer; since routine use, cervical cancer has gone from being the 2nd to the 11th leading cause of death. The Oral CDX brush can save lives in much the same way through an oral cancer screening process.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.