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What Is Oral Cancer Screening?

Screening is, in general terms, a process by which doctors check for signs and symptoms of cancer. Screening is done to detect cancers early so that they can be treated more efficiently. 

There is a high chance that cancer has spread by the time symptoms appear. Patients oral screening for mouth cancer is a must to check the health status of a person who is suffering from cancer.

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Oral cancer screening is more specific and involves looking for signs of oral cancer in the mouth, oral cavity, oropharynx. These areas may also be affected by oral cancer.

Oral Cavity

  • The front of your tongue

  • The gums

  • The cheek lining

  • The bottom of your mouth, below the tongue

  • Hard palate: The palate is located at the front of your mouth.

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  • The pharynx

  • The back of your tongue

  • The soft palate is the palate located at the back of your mouth.

  • The sides and walls of your throat

  • Tonsils.

Oral cancer screening includes diagnostic tests that check these areas. 

To determine if oral cells are cancerous, there are some main methods.

Toluidine blue stain is a diagnostic procedure that involves covering the cells of the mouth with a blue dye. A darker area is more likely to develop cancer. 

Fluorescence staining is a method of inspecting lesions in the mouth under a specific type of light. After the patient has been rinsed with fluorescence mouthwash, normal tissue can be distinguished.

A brush biopsy is a procedure that removes cells using a brush to extract cells from a lesion. Cells are then viewed under a microscope again to determine if they have cancer.