Diagnosing oral cancer is important for early detection and successful treatment. There are several methods of diagnosis for oral cancer, including:
- Visual Inspection: A visual inspection of the oral cavity and surrounding tissues is typically the first step in diagnosing oral cancer. Your dentist or doctor will look for any abnormal changes or lesions in the soft tissue, such as red or white patches, irregular growths, or sores that don’t heal.
- Tissue biopsy: If there are any abnormal changes in the oral cavity or surrounding tissues, a biopsy may be necessary. During a biopsy, a small sample of the tissue is removed and examined under a microscope to determine if it is cancerous.
- Imaging tests: Imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, or PET scans may be necessary to determine the extent of the cancer, whether it has spread to other areas in the body and the size, and location of the tumour.
- Endoscopy: An endoscope is a flexible tube with a light and camera on the end that can be used to examine the inside of the mouth, throat, and surrounding tissues. This procedure may be done under local anaesthesia, and it enables the clinician to look for any signs of cancer that may be difficult to see with the naked eye.
- Salivary diagnostics: This is a new diagnostic method that involves analyzing the saliva for biological markers that may indicate the presence of oral cancer. It is a non-invasive and simple method of early detection, which is gaining popularity.
In summary, visual inspection, tissue biopsy, imaging tests, endoscopy, and salivary diagnostics are all methods used to diagnose oral cancer. Early detection is important for successful treatment, so be sure to discuss any concerns or possible symptoms with your dentist or doctor. Regular dental check-ups are also important in screening for oral cancer.