• Oral Cancer Screening

  • Once thought to be a disease of smokers and alcohol drinkers over the age of 40, the incidence of oral cancers is changing. We are now seeing and emergent pattern of oral cancer in younger groups not previously considered in the high risk categories. Why the change? Two reasons. One, is the use of "smokeless" chewing or spit tobacco which is not safer than cigarettes when referring to oral cancer. The second, is that of the human papillomavirus (HPV)16 which is sexually transmitted between partners. This virus is present in more than 90% of cervical cancers and is increasing the incidence of young non-smoking, non-drinking oral cancer patients.

    While an annual screening for oral cancer is important, it is possible that you will notice some change in your mouth or throat that needs examination between your annual screenings. You are the most important factor in an early diagnosis.

    What is involved in an oral cancer screening?

    The screening is quick, but thorough, and painless. It involves an examination of the following areas:

    • Back of your throat
    • Tongue
    • Floor of your mouth
    • Roof of your mouth
    • Face
    • Jaw
    • Neck
    • Lips

    If the dentist finds something unusual you may be referred to another office for further testing or re-examined later to see if there have been any changes.

    When should I get a screening for oral cancer?

    It is important to have cancer screenings done regularly to catch any abnormalities early. Depending on the personalized oral care regime you and your dentist have established, you may need to have a more in depth, but still painless, screening.

    Dr. Skowronski works with the top medical professionals in Shelby Township, MI to make sure you get the best service possible. If need be, she will get you in touch with the right office to look further into any issues that may need to be looked into further.