Getting screened for oral cancer is a great way to find out if you have the disease. It is also a great way to avoid it. By avoiding smoking and eating healthier, you can prevent it from affecting you. It is important that you get screened for it as soon as possible. This can help you detect it early, so you can begin to treat it as soon as you can. Moreover, you will be able to reduce your risk of developing a more serious form of the disease.
Preventing oral cancer
Increasing awareness of oral cancer is important to preventing its development. However, the majority of the population remains ignorant about the disease. This lack of knowledge can lead to delayed presentation to an OHP, which is known to affect early detection and treatment outcomes. A public education campaign is needed to encourage patients to take action for their own health.
To identify a person’s risk of developing oral cancer, doctors and other professionals may screen them with a biopsy, which is a procedure that removes cells from the mouth and examines them under a microscope. Several risk factors are known to increase the chance of developing the disease. The most common are tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption.
Detecting oral cancer in its early stages is the best way to reduce its morbidity and mortality. Several technological advancements in the field have been adopted to dental settings, but more needs to be done to improve detection.
The mainstay of oral cancer screening for decades has been the conventional oral examination. The procedure involves palpation of the oral cavity under a bright light source to evaluate for enlarged lymph nodes. This method is not always reliable, however, and it may require more testing for an official diagnosis.
Some newer tests using salivary and serum may help detect oral cancer in its early stages. These newer techniques have many advantages and disadvantages. The test’s accuracy is measured by sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values.
Detecting oral cancer at an early stage has a major positive impact on the quality of life of patients. This is important because early stage disease has a very good prognosis. Nevertheless, the prevalence of oral cancer among the general population is still a concern.
The primary screening test for oral cancer is systematic clinical examination. This is performed by a trained otolaryngologist and includes a complete examination of the oral cavity during a clinical encounter. This may include a tissue biopsy.
There are several screening models for the oral cavity, including population-based screening, self-screening and mass screening. Each of these has strengths and weaknesses.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has not recommended population-based screening of the oral cavity. However, it did recommend the use of oral cancer screening by primary medical care providers.
OPMDs are detected by oral cancer screening
OPMDs, also known as oral potentially malignant disorders, are a group of oral mucosal lesions that can lead to cancer. Several diagnostic technologies have been developed and translated into regulatory-approved in vitro diagnostic systems.
Visual and tactile examination is the most commonly used tool for detection of oral lesions. However, it has some limitations. These include the subjectivity of the clinical observer, and the difficulty of identifying abnormal tissues. To increase the efficiency of OPMDs detection, efforts are being made to improve the performance of the clinician.
The development of promising intracellular biomarkers is expected to improve the detection of oral cancer. Artificial intelligence (AI)-based systems have been designed to analyze clinicopathologic data and genetic information. They may also be applicable as triage tools for patients.
Social marketing campaign to increase compliance
Several studies have investigated oral cancer screening as a way of finding patients at risk of developing the disease. A multi-pronged social marketing campaign involving radio ads, billboards, a free mobile app and a toll-free hotline resulted in a total of 1020 screenings.
The aforementioned toll-free hotline generated 1783 calls. This was the most impressive number and a clear indication that the program was effective. The project also included a social media program, which had a notable effect on overall coverage.
The aforementioned toll-free phone line was accompanied by a slew of free digital education programs with community based organizations. These initiatives were aimed at educating the public on the benefits of early detection of the disease. These efforts were not only cost effective, but they were also well received.