What is Oral Care Screening n Risk Factors

What is screening?

Screening is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage. When abnormal tissue or cancer is found early, it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread.

It is important to remember that your doctor does not necessarily think you have cancer if he or she suggests a screening test. Screening tests are given when you have no cancer symptoms.

If a screening test result is abnormal, you may need to have more tests done to find out if you have cancer. These are called diagnostic tests.

General Information About Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer

Key Points

  • Oral cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lips, oral cavity, or oropharynx.
  • The number of new cases of oral cancer and the number of deaths from oral cancer have been decreasing slowly.
  • Tobacco and alcohol use can affect the risk of developing oral cancer.

Oral cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the lips, oral cavity, or oropharynx.

Oral cancer may develop in any of the following areas:

Most oral cancers start in squamous cells, the thin, flat cells that line the lips, oral cavity, and oropharynx. Cancer that forms in squamous cells is called squamous cell carcinoma.

Tobacco and alcohol use can affect the risk of developing oral cancer.

Tobacco and alcohol use can affect the risk of developing oral cancer.

Anything that increases the chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer; not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. People who think they may be at risk should discuss this with their doctor. Risk factors for oral cancer include the following:

  • Using tobacco products (includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and smokeless and chewing tobacco).
  • Heavy alcohol use.
  • Chewing betel nuts.
  • Being infected with a certain type of human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • Being exposed to sunlight (lip cancer only).
  • Being male.

    The number of new cases of oral cancer and the number of deaths from oral cancer have been decreasing slowly.

http://www.cancer.gov/types/head-and-neck/patient/oral-screening-pdq

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