The goal of oral cancer screening is to detect mouth cancer or precancerous lesions that may lead to mouth cancer at an early stage. When cancer or lesions are found at the early stage they are easier to remove and have a larger chance of being cured.
Although no studies have proven that oral cancer screening saves lives, Some groups agree about the benefits of an oral exam for oral cancer screening where as other do not.
Yet people with a high risk of oral cancer may be more likely to benefit from oral cancer screening. Risk factors that can increase your risk of oral cancer include:
- Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, among others
- Heavy alcohol use
- Previous oral cancer diagnosis
- History of significant sun exposure, which increases the risk of lip cancer
Ask your dentist whether oral cancer screening is appropriate for you.