Mentioning the word cancer changes the face of anyone since the social awareness of this pathology remains closely linked to death or to drastic and harsh consequences. However, today, cancer is no longer synonymous with death both for the improvement of treatments and mainly for early detection. Among the least known cancers we find the cancer ora l, a pathology that has a relevant prevalence of cases in our country. Even so, it continues to go unnoticed even though the patient may have serious consequences for life. In this case, both prevention and, above all, early detection play a fundamental factor in overcoming a disease whose mortality is similar to melanoma and cervical cancer.
In this game against oral cancer, the dentist has a very prominent role since it is he who can detect worrisome symptoms and diagnose malignant and non-premalignant lesions that can lead to the disease. The incidence of oral cancer is between 1 and 5.2 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The disease is mainly limited to the tongue although it can also appear in other areas of the mouth. It is more common in men than in women and not only affects older people since it also occurs in people over 40 years.
How a dentist can detect it and how to act:
- The dentist is undoubtedly the most appropriate healthcare professional to detect and diagnose lesions that lead to oral cancer. In this way, the performance of the dentist can be decisive in these cases and obviously a correct action of yours helps save lives.
- In this case, your objective should focus on identifying potentially dangerous malignant lesions of being precancerous and with a bad evolution. These include traumatic ulcers, atypical lichens, leukoplasias, some melanic nevi and chronic cheilitis.
- In case of suspicion of an oral tumor, it is advisable to perform a biopsy with the help of a brush, with this one you will take the sample of tissue from the suspicious area that will be deposited in a suitable container and then sent to a pathology laboratory for examination. After the result and if this is positive or atypical it will be necessary to perform another biopsy this time with a scalpel. In these cases, a referral to a medical specialist is necessary for further treatment.
- In recent years, a new and innovative way of detecting this type of lesions has also emerged through the application of a fluorescent light source. It is a new tool that allows the visualization of lesions and facilitates the differentiation of healthy tissues from potentially affected without the need to manipulate them.
- Previously the area must have been treated with a rinse and then pass the fluorescent light source system. Its results are simple, potentially dangerous tissue will look white while healthy ones will absorb light and will look dark. If the test is positive and the suspicious tissue does not pass it, the next step is to perform a biopsy and its subsequent referral to the specialist.