What to Disclose About Your Health History at an Oral Cancer Screening

Oral Cancer Screening Littleton, CO

Oral cancer screening is vital for the early diagnosis and prevention of oral cancer. The screening is fast and easy and it can be done by your dentist at a regular checkup appointment. If your dentist thinks that you may have cancer, you will need exams as well as tests to be sure. You will have to disclose information about your health history at an oral cancer screening.

Health history and oral cancer screening

A comprehensive patient evaluation starts with an analysis of the patient’s health history. This is often before the physical examination is performed. Most times, dentists ask people about their symptoms, risk factors and the family history of disease. Here is a breakdown of the things a health care provider may need to know.

Surgeries and medications

The dentist should find out whether an individual has any history of surgery. Knowing the medications a patient is taking is also beneficial. The dental team should be aware of the increased chances of the development of cancer in people who have undergone organ transplantation. Certain drugs also increase the risk of oral cancer. These include drugs that suppress the immune system like the ones used to prevent the rejection of the transplant organ or to treat particular immune diseases.

Previous cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection

Individuals who have had oral cancer are more at risk of developing another oral cancer compared to their counterparts. This risk is even higher, especially if a person continues to use tobacco or alcohol. Having cancer of the larynx, esophagus, cervix or lung also increases the risk of oral cancer. Human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, includes about 200 similar viruses.

A large fraction of HPVs cause warts but some of them lead to cancer. HPV is a common risk factor for oral cancer. Patients with oral cancers associated with HPV tend not to be drinkers or smokers. They also usually have a good prognosis. HPV infections in the mouth do not usually produce symptoms and only a small fraction of these infections develop into cancer.

Sun exposure

The health history interview may include questions about sun exposure. The dentist will also ask about the use of lip sunscreen and protective coverings. The dentist will emphasize the risk of developing lower lip squamous cell carcinoma due to sunlight exposure. This is often over a duration spanning many years.

Visit your dentist today

The diagnostic phase of patient management usually starts with the assessment of the medical history. The dentist will then determine if it may have an impact on the dental history and overall management of an oral disease or condition. The evaluation of an individual’s health history is beneficial for understanding the general health of the patient. This information will help your dentist determine the potential for oral diseases. As a result, your dentist will know if your dental treatment may require modification. Visit a dentist near you today for an oral cancer screening.

Are you considering oral cancer screening in the Littleton area? Get more information at https://rockyviewdentalcare.com.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Oral Cancer Screening in Littleton, CO.

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