Oral Cancer ScreeningIn Gig Harbor, WA

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What is
Oral Cancer Screening &
Why Bother?

The examination that Drs. Bloomquist and Iregui perform by looking for cancer, or precancerous conditions is called an oral cancer screening. Generally, this is conducted during your routine dental visit. The examination consists of two forms of inspection: visual and physical.

The objective of this examination is to detect signs of mouth cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth that may lead to mouth cancer. The reasoning behind this is because cancer and lesions are easiest to remove and most likely to be cured the sooner they are spotted.

Who is a Candidate for Oral Cancer Screening?

Drs. Bloomquist and Iregui’s patients can request an oral cancer screening at any time, or he might decide that it’s necessary as a result of your lifestyle choices.

Considerations that can make you more susceptible to oral cancer include:

  • A previous oral cancer diagnosis
  • History of significant solar exposure, which raises the chance of lip cancer
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Tobacco use of any kind including but not limited to cigarettes, cigar pipes, chewing tobacco, and e-cigarettes

Two-Part examination procedure

Oral cancer screening is a two-step process.

The first step is a visual inspection of your face, neck, lips, nose, and oral cavity. Drs. Bloomquist and Iregui will be looking for patches of odd color, swellings, ulcers, asymmetries, bumps, or other abnormalities. Along with those inspected areas, they might look at your inner cheeks, tonsils, gums, the roof of your mouth, under the tongue, and the throat.

The second step in the process is the physical portion of the examination. During this time, Drs. Bloomquist and Iregui will use his gloved hands to feel your mouth, cheeks, head, under the chin, and around the jaw. The reason the physical examination is important is that some abnormalities can only be detected by feeling—not by sight alone.

What if there are
Signs of cancer?

If Drs. Bloomquist and Iregui notice an abnormality during the examination, they might have you return in a few weeks for another appointment to see if anything has changed. They also might decide that a biopsy is necessary.

biopsy is a procedure where your dentist or doctor removes tissue from the concerned area and sends it to a lab to be tested. Drs. Bloomquist or Iregui might perform this procedure, or they may direct you to another qualified professional.

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Be Proactive:
Get your examination done today

Oral cancer symptoms can be painful, but pain is not the only symptom. A painless swelling of any size could mean problems elsewhere. If you notice anything that matches the characteristics we discussed, contact our office and schedule an appointment with Drs. Bloomquist and Iregui today to get the treatment you deserve.