Oral Cancer Screening for Prevention and Early Detection
Preventive measures and early detection is key in the battle against oral cancer. Dr. Stephen J. Malki can perform an oral cancer screening at our River Edge, NJ, practice during regular dental exams and cleanings, During these routine appointments, Dr. Malki will look for signs of the disease and use Velscope® technology to detect non-visible signs. By providing all patients with information to prevent and address oral cancer, Dr. Malki hopes to reduce his patients' risk for the disease. If he does notice signs of oral cancer during your exam, he can help provide biopsy testing and refer you to a trusted specialist for more advanced treatment.
What to Expect during an Oral Cancer Screening
There are two parts to an oral cancer screening. The first is a visual examination of the tongue, throat, lips, and cheeks. Dr. Malki evaluates these areas closely for signs of oral cancer. After the thorough visual exam, he will then use the Velscope to look for signs not yet visible to the naked eye.
What is Dr. Malki Looking For?
During the visual exam, Dr. Malki is looking for symptoms such as:
- Red or white patches
- Mouth sores that do not heal
- Abnormal lumps or growths
If you wear dentures, Dr. Malki will ask you to remove them so he can closely examine the tissues underneath.
How the Velscope System Works
The Velscope system uses a handheld device that emits a special blue light. This light reacts differently to healthy tissues and abnormalities, signaling potential problems that Dr. Malki may have been unable to see during the visual exam. The Velscope examination takes only an additional two minutes and can provide Dr. Malki with important information about your oral health.
How to Protect Yourself from Oral Cancer
Certain risk factors for oral cancer are beyond your control. For example, if you have ever had HPV (human papilloma virus), or another form of cancer, you could have a greater risk of developing oral cancer. However, many of the factors that put patients at risk for oral cancer are entirely preventable. These can include:
- Poor dental hygiene
- Tobacco use (smoke and smokeless)
- Frequent or excessive alcohol use
If you want to reduce your risk for oral cancer, the first step is to quit any tobacco habit you may have and limit your consumption of alcoholic beverages. Additionally, you should practice good dental hygiene at home and see your dentist for an exam and cleaning every six months.
If you want to reduce your risk for oral cancer, the first step is to quit any tobacco habit you may have and limit your consumption of alcoholic beverages.
If you have a history of oral cancer in your family or if you use tobacco, please let Dr. Malki know. He can use this information, along with other factors such as your age and overall health, to determine when and how often you will need an oral cancer screening. Most patients over the age of 40 will receive a screening at least once per year.
Schedule an Exam and Screening Today
If you have not had an oral cancer screening within the last six months, call our office at (201) 646-0800 or contact Malki Dental to schedule an appointment. We can perform the screening in conjunction with your regular dental exam and cleaning for your convenience.