Mouth or oral cancer may sound scary once you are diagnosed with it. But actually, if you get screened and diagnosed early, it is one of the easiest cancer types to be treated and managed. But you may think, is mouth cancer contagious? And can mouth cancer be detected in an oral cancer screening by your dentist?
Early signs and symptoms of oral cancer
The sure way to detect oral cancer early is to visit your family doctor regularly. At the first sign of a dental problem, you can go and visit your dentist so he can recommend you to see a doctor if he assesses that your symptoms and complaints are caused by cancer. One of the early signs of oral or mouth cancer can be a wound or blister that does not seem to be healing. It can look like a whitish or reddish patch on the lining of the mouth or a lump or thickening of the skin in the mouth. A patient can also experience bleeding in the mouth or gums, ear pain, sore throat, and jaw pain. These complaints can result in difficulty in swallowing or chewing, speech impediments, and loose-fitting dental appliances like dentures or bridges. If you visit your doctor or dentist, they may prescribe you medications and say that these symptoms should be managed in a week. However, if any of these symptoms last for more than two weeks, it is best to get it checked out by your family doctor once again because it may be more serious than a usual mouth sore or dental problem.
Screenings and tests to detect mouth cancer
The most organic screening is the dentist’s or doctor’s assessment of your dental or oral health. If your signs and symptoms are indicative of cancer, they will refer you to an oncologist that specializes in mouth cancer. The oncologist gets a tissue sample from your mouth to check it for cancer growth called a biopsy. Once a cancer diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor will find out what stage and type your cancer is and plan a treatment approach to fight this dreaded condition. They will also need more tests and imaging like CT scans, MRIs, and endoscopies to determine your overall condition.
Is mouth cancer contagious?
Many are scared of having a cancer diagnosis; one, because they are scared of their own health condition, and two, they are scared that people may think they are contagious or they can spread cancer. The truth is, if you are in contact with a cancer patient, whatever type or stage it may be, it is not contagious. However, cancer genes can be genetically transferred to generations after you. So if your relative has cancer, getting in touch with him or her will not increase your chances of getting infected, but because you may have the same genes, hereditary transfer and the probability of getting cancer increases, so you better get yourself checked.
In life, taking care of your health, not just because you or a relative has cancer, should be a priority than buying or having material or luxurious things. Making sure that you lead a healthy lifestyle and live a fruitful life is more important than getting the latest phone or having the mansion of your dreams.