Research in oral cancer agree that the early diagnosis of oral carcinomas greatly increases the probability of cure with minimum impairment and deformity. Primary prevention which include reducing the exposure to tobacco, alcohol and betel quid has been shown to be effective in reducing the incidence of oral cancers. Secondary prevention involves screening for the early detection of oral cancer.
Oral cancer screening can take different forms. Clinical examination and biopsy allow the early detection of premalignant and early oral cancers. Screening can be made more efficient by inspecting high-risk sites which are the floor of the mouth, the ventrolateral surface of the tongue and the soft palate.
In carrying out screenings, dentists should target high-risk groups .i.e. those over 40 years of age, including smokers and heavy drinkers.
Based on recommendation, dentists should perform an annual visual oral cancer examination on all their patients and obtain a specialist opinion for suspicious oral lesions.
Oral Test with toluidine blue may be used as an adjunct to soft tissue examination to highlight any invisible, asymptomatic lesions.
Exfoliative cytology can detect early oral cancer and can be performed by dentally untrained personnel. It is rapid and relatively non-invasive and therefore may be useful in population-based oral cancer screening programmes.
However, prevention of oral cancers is partly self-sustained.
The Practice of good oral hygiene is key, including staying away from all forms of tobacco products, and alcohol. .Also, protect your lips from the sun.
More so, routine dental checks are vital. You can get vaccinated to prevent HPV related oral cancers