Oral cancer screening is really important because it vastly improves the chances of successful treatment. Statistics show that early diagnosis can increase the chance of survival from around 50 per cent to 90 per cent. Screening enables us to use the latest technology to identify changes in the mouth and abnormalities with the soft tissue long before they become visible to a dentist’s eye. This means that we can arrange further tests and reach a diagnosis as early as possible. Screening only takes a few minutes and there’s nothing to be worried about, as the process is completely pain-free.
What are the symptoms of mouth cancer?
The most common symptoms of mouth cancer include red and white patches in the mouth, abnormal swelling in the mouth or throat and mouth ulcers that take a long time to heal. Sadly, by the time symptoms become detectable, many cases of mouth cancer have already advanced fairly quickly. This is why screening and regular check-ups are so important.
How do you check for oral cancer?
We carry out checks for mouth cancer as part of routine check-ups. However, screening is more effective for oral cancer detection because the technology we use is much more advanced than human vision and it can identify changes in the soft tissue at a very early stage.
In the event that we detect abnormalities or a patient displays symptoms of oral cancer, we arrange further tests, which are used to confirm or rule out a diagnosis. We work with other health professionals to support patients and we do everything we can to ensure that patients understand what is going on and what happens next.