Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer can produce few symptoms during the early stages, but this is when it is most easily cured and is why it is important to be screened at least once a year. When detected early enough, this disease has a 90% survival rate. Oral cancer rates are increasing, and regular screenings can offer the best chance of an early diagnosis.
The first signs of cancer are often nearly invisible which is why we use the Identafi®. This is a laser light that can produce three different wavelengths, illuminating possible changes to the tissues in your mouth. White light enables us to examine your mouth, while healthy cells will fluoresce under violet light. Any abnormal cells will not fluoresce and are seen as darker areas, making any cell changes easy to identify. Lastly, a green-amber light lets us closely examine the blood vessels around any lesions. In addition, we will gently feel the lymph nodes in your neck to check for any lumps or swellings. If we do find any areas of concern, we will refer you to an Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon for further investigations.
We also recommend you become more aware of any changes to your mouth in between screenings. Early signs can include:
- Lesions that fail to heal within two or three weeks.
- Noticing you have difficulty swallowing or that your voice has changed, or that it feels as if something is stuck in your throat.
- Feeling lumps or rough areas, or noticing there are red or white patches of tissue in your mouth.
- Noticing dentures fit slightly differently, or your natural teeth don’t seem to bite together properly.
If you have any symptoms that concern you, please contact Swansea Dental Practice or Advance Family Dental for advice or to book an oral cancer screening.