For low and high risk patients, oral exams, self-exams and screening for oral cavity cancer can help diagnose the condition early to improve the doctor’s ability to successfully treat the condition.
Oral exams are often completed during routine trips to the dentist and doctor and may be the first step to testing. Be sure your physician knows you would like a complete oral exam during your appointment.
Self-exams are easily completed. If you notice any irregularities, schedule a screening at Florida Hospital. These are the step to a self-exam:
- Remove dental products in your mouth.
- Using a mirror, flashlight and clean hands, look and touch your mouth, lips, gums and tongue for the signs of oral cavity cancer.
- Check the roof of your mouth
- Next, check the inside of your checks and both the inside and outside of your gums
- Examine the top, sides and underside of your tongue and the floor of your mouth underneath your tongue.
- Check for enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and jaw.
If you or your doctor detects irregularities, these screening and tests for oral cavity cancer can diagnose your condition:
- Medical history, personal history and physical exam
- CT or CAT Scan
- Barium swallow
Some of the symptoms and signs of oral cavity cancer are also signs of many other conditions. Many times the irregularities you find will not be cancer. Diagnostic testing is the only way to know for sure.