What is Oral Cancer Screening?
What is the goal of Oral Cancer Screening?
Who are likely to benefit from oral cancer screeing?
- 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
What are the limitations of oral cancer screening?
- The screening could lead to additional tests like biopsy. People frequently have noncancerous sores in their mouth and an oral exam cannot always determine which sores are cancerous and which are not. Presence an unusual sore might lead to recommendation for biopsy.
- Oral cancer screening cannot detect all mouth cancers. It can be difficult to detect areas of abnormal cells just by looking at the mouth, so its possible that a small cancer or precancerous lesion could go undetected.
- Oral cancer screening has not been proved to save lives. There no evidence that routine oral examinations to look for signs of oral cancer can reduce the number of deaths caused by oral cancer. However, screening for oral cancer may help find cancers early - when cure is more likely.