This disease affects people globally. As of 2010, more than 124,000 people have died of oral cancer. This is up from 82,000 who died from it in 1990. Nearly 37,000 Americans are estimated to be diagnosed with the disease in the coming year. Of these 37,000 new cases, about half will survive for five years or more. More than two-thirds will be diagnosed at stage three and four, which are late stages of the disease. The actual death rate for mouth cancer tends to be higher than cancers of the cervix, skin, and Hodgkin's lymphoma.
The disease often manifests as a non-healing sore or ulcer. This basically means an ulcer that is showing no signs of healing after about two weeks. In the US, this disease accounts for nearly eight percent of all malignant cancers. Men tend to be affected twice as often as women do, especially men that are older than sixty.
For proper screening, there should be a thorough examination of the mouth by your doctor or dentist to see if there is any visible or hidden lesions on the lips, tongue, or anywhere else in the mouth. The sides of your tongue are also a common area for lesions. As the tumor grows larger, it often becomes an ulcer and starts to bleed. After this stage, the patient may have difficulty talking, chewing, or swallowing. Some patients may need a feeding tube to get adequate nutrition.
It is a good idea to have this screening test done at least once a year. If there is anything suspicious, the doctor will order special tests, such as an x-ray, a CT scan or an MRI. The doctor may also take a tissue biopsy for further testing. This testing will normally be done in a lab.
There are many screening devices that doctors and dentists may use to detect oral cancer. Some of these devices include the Velscope, the identafi 3000 or the Vizilite Plus. Doctors need to be careful that these devices do not harm the patient through over use, or produce false positives that may lead to unnecessary biopsies.
A brush biopsy is non-invasive and can be used to rule out any dysplasia in areas of the mouth with unexplained discoloration or lesions. However, the only sure method of determining if a lesion is cancerous or not is through a biopsy and a microscopic evaluation of the cells in the tissue sample.
Surgical removal of the mouth tumor is often recommended if it is small enough. This may produce satisfactory results. Radiation therapy or chemotherapy is also used along with surgery, particularly if the tumor is considered to be inoperable.
Fwd: How Oral Cancer Screening Oregon Works In Medicine
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