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Galway Dentists

What is an oral cancer screening ?

Oral cancer screening is crucial for detecting mouth cancer and identifying precancerous lesions. Early detection significantly increases the chances of successful treatment and easier removal of cancerous lesions.

When you visit Galway Dentists for your routine dental check-up, your dentist will examine your mouth and check for cancer signs and precancerous conditions in the cheek lining, gums, lips, floor and roof of the mouth, tonsils, and tongue.

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What to expect

Benefits of an oral cancer screening

Oral cancer affects thousands of people globally, with Americans having almost 54,000 cases annually. Early detection is the key, and it’s one of the benefits of getting screened for oral or mouth cancers.

Some people may not notice malignant tumours or growths inside their mouth and throat until they feel discomfort and pain. At this point, the cancer may be more complicated to remove and treat than if it’s detected earlier.

Early Detection: Screening can identify cancer before symptoms appear, increasing the likelihood of successful treatment.

Awareness: Regular screenings raise awareness of oral health and potential risks.

Oral Cancer Galway
Oral Cancer Galway
Oral Cancer Screening

Who is oral cancer screening for?

In 2022, 54,000 new cases of oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer were recorded, according to the American Cancer Society. This rate of new cases has slightly risen over the past 20 years. Your dentist may recommend an oral cancer screening or exam based on your risk factors. You may benefit from this screening if you have a high risk of it. A few risk factors contributing to oral cancer are tobacco use (e.g. chewing tobacco, using cigars, pipes, and cigarettes), heavy alcohol use, heavy sun exposure (for lip cancer), and a history of an oral cancer diagnosis. People over the age of 45 or who have poor oral hygiene may have an increased risk of developing oral cancer, so they can benefit from having regular oral cancer screenings.

Types of Oral Cancer Screening

A dentist is responsible for screening all new patients seeking either limited or comprehensive care. In some cases, special tests may be required apart from the oral examination.
You must rinse your mouth with a blue dye. It’s called an oral cancer screening dye, which determines any abnormal cells inside your mouth. The abnormal cells will appear bluish when they take up the screening dye.
Your dentist may also use a special light for oral cancer screening. It makes the abnormal tissues appear white and the normal ones dark.

Facts about Oral Cancer Screening

Check regularly for early signs of oral cancer, especially if you’re drinking alcohol or using tobacco. Look inside your mouth and feel if there’s something strange around your neck.
A lip or mouth sore, a flat white or red patch in your mouth, or a lump/growth inside your mouth or neck are some signs to note, especially if they persist for at least two weeks. Other symptoms include hoarseness in your voice and swallowing discomfort. See your dentist twice a year to monitor oral cancer and perform an oral cancer screening as a part of your dental check-up. When it comes to cancer and any other disease, as you may know, prevention is better than cure.

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What to expect during the treatment?

When you visit us at Galway Dentists for your dental check-up, we include an oral cancer screening as part of our routine examination, requiring no special preparation from you.

What Happens During the Screening?

Our dentist will meticulously examine the inside of your mouth for any signs of mouth sores or unusual white or red patches. They will also gently feel the tissues inside your mouth to detect any irregularities, such as lumps. Additionally, the examination extends to your neck and throat, checking for lumps, swelling, ulcerations, or any firm nodules or unusual masses under the chin or on the outside of your cheek.

Follow-Up Procedures

Should we find signs indicative of mouth cancer or precancerous lesions, we may schedule a follow-up appointment. This is typically a few weeks later to monitor if the observed abnormalities have persisted, altered, or grown.

In cases where further investigation is warranted, we may recommend a biopsy. This procedure involves taking a small sample of cells for laboratory analysis. Depending on your individual risk factors for developing oral cancer, we might also suggest regular monthly oral exams.

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  • I had a very pleasant experience at Galway Dentists, the receptionist was friendly and welcoming and the the dentist and her assistant were so professional and offered great advice. Thank you so much, I can't stop smiling with my shiny white teeth ????

    Arthur Gray Avatar Arthur Gray
    January 19, 2022
  • Highly recommend this Dentist brilliant service as always

    mary ann mc donagh Avatar mary ann mc donagh
    January 19, 2019
  • I visited Dentist Michael Donnelly this week. As I am someone who is nervous about visiting the dentist I was not looking forward to seeing Michael at all , but to my surprise he was extremely helpful and made the experience easy and painless. Michael and his dental nurse were very polite and I am looking forward to my next dental visit.

    Sean Moran Avatar Sean Moran
    January 19, 2018
  • Excellent service and treatment.

    jinu thomas Avatar jinu thomas
    January 19, 2021
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