Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer is a common cancer of the head and neck, with high fatality rates. Routine screening by healthcare professionals offers the best chance of catching precancerous lesions in their early stages.

Oral cancer screenings involve a visual examination of the lips, 강남역치과 tongue, gums, cheeks, roof and floor of the mouth. PHCWs can also feel the neck for masses or swelling.


During an oral cancer screening, your dentist examines your lips, cheek, gums, tongue and the roof and floor of your mouth for red or white patches, bumps or sores. They also feel for any hard lumps. If they discover any unusual tissue, a biopsy may be necessary.

A biopsy involves removing cells from the suspicious spot and testing them for cancerous cells. If cancer is found, your doctor will tell you what stage the cancer is in, which helps guide treatment.

Other health conditions can cause symptoms that are similar to oral cancer, so it’s important for your doctor to rule out other causes before making a diagnosis. They may perform additional tests to find out if cancer has spread and to help plan your treatment.

Your doctor can use a special dye and light to check for abnormal tissues. The dye makes healthy tissue appear dark, while tumors and other abnormal tissues look blue.

Risk factors

Many cancers are amenable to screening because they are often preceded by a pre-malignant lesion or disease process that can be identified, down-staged and treated. Oral cancers are no different, and screening asymptomatic individuals with systematic visual oral examinations has been shown to be feasible and cost-effective (Warnakulasuriya et al 2020).

The most obvious risk factors for developing mouth and throat cancers are tobacco and alcohol use. However, research has found that the HPV virus also contributes to these diseases. It is therefore crucial that all adults understand the warning signs and seek professional advice if they notice them.

Despite this, the vast majority of cases of mouth and oropharyngeal cancers present in an advanced stage, when they are difficult to treat, with a dismal survival rate. This is because most patients do not present to health care professionals for examinations and are diagnosed late. Screening for oral cancer is important to improve the survival rates.


The conventional test applied in most screening studies and programs involves a visual oral examination (VOE), followed by the palpation of the neck for any enlarged lymph nodes that could indicate metastases. It’s also important to note any changes in the mouth, such as a dry tongue or thickening of the lips.

During the exam, your healthcare professional may rinse your mouth with a blue dye, which makes healthy tissue appear dark and abnormal tissue appear white. They may also shine a special light in your mouth, which can help detect tissue that may be abnormal. This device is called a VELscope.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all cancers can be screened for. In addition, many of the lesions that can be screened for are actually benign. A biopsy will be needed to confirm whether or not something is cancerous. If the lesion is cancerous, it will need to be treated promptly.


During a routine health checkup, a dentist, hygienist, or doctor can look at the patient’s mouth and throat. They will look for anything unusual, such as sores or lumps. They will also feel around the neck for enlarged lymph nodes. This is called case finding. The purpose of case finding is to detect early stage cancers, and thus reduce death and suffering.

They may also perform a test that uses toluidine blue dye to coat the inside of the mouth and highlight any areas that are abnormal. They may also use a fluorescent light test, which allows them to see pre-cancerous cells and cancerous tissue more easily.

Many oral cancers are found in the front of the mouth and at the back of the throat, a region known as the oropharynx. These types of cancers are usually related to tobacco or alcohol use. But they can be caused by other things, such as the HPV virus.