One of the key points of Oral Cancer Awareness Month happening every April, is to educate people about the symptoms of the disease, and the importance of early detection. When cancers are detected early, effected individuals are more likely to be able to seek effective treatment. For this reason, every patient should receive regular screenings that include looking for oral cancer symptoms in Harrisonburg, VA and Winchester, VA.

How Is Oral Cancer Detected?

Our periodontists are skilled in performing screenings for oral cancer. When they look for signs that a patient may have oral cancer, they usually perform a set examination so they do not miss anything. This examination can include visually and manually inspecting the color of the gums and tissues of the mouth. They will look for red and white patches, sores, lumps or any indication that abnormal growth is occurring. If cancer is suspected, the doctor will take a small sample of cells for the diagnosis to be confirmed by laboratory technicians.

Additional Detection Tools

The doctor may also use some additional tools to detect oral cancer. In some cases, the doctor may ask you to rinse your mouth with a specially formulated blue dye prior to your exam. If you have any abnormal cells in your mouth, they may take on a blue hue when they come into contact with the dye. Additionally, the doctor may utilize a bright light during your exam. The light may make any potentially infected cells appear white, while healthy tissue remains dark. Both tools are simply a way the doctor can increase his chances of properly diagnosing each patient.

Set Up a Screening Today

As with any other cancer, early detection is key. For this reason, Drs. Steven & Victor Saunders and Dickson recommend that every patient is screened for the condition regularly, especially if they are at a greater risk for developing the disease. Contact our office today to set up a screening.