Oral cancer screening is done to check the entire oral cavity for cancerous or precancerous signs. The objective is to detect oral cancer at an early stage when there is a higher chance of successful treatment. The dentist will examine your oral cavity during a dental checkup and perform the oral cancer screening. Additional tests…
Oral Cancer Screening for Nursing Home Patients
Patients of any age should consider getting an oral cancer screening. However, for the older population, some can be at an even higher risk of having oral cancer. As the number of patients with oral cancer increases, screenings become even more vital. Keep reading to learn more about this type of cancer screening.
Why an oral cancer screening is done
The goal of an oral cancer screening is to look for cancer in the mouth. This can include precancerous cells that can cause mouth cancer. At the early stages of the disease, the lesions are easier to remove. This also makes them more likely to be cured.
Nursing home residents who have a high risk of oral cancer may benefit from the screening. For example, people who have a history of sun exposure may be at a higher risk of getting oral cancer. The lips can become sunburnt easier than the rest of the face. It is often difficult to remember to apply sunscreen to the lips, making them vulnerable.
Using tobacco of any type also increases the risk of oral cancer. This includes pipes, cigarettes, cigars and snuff. Heavy alcohol usage will increase someone’s risk of having oral cancer. Any nursing home resident who has previously had oral cancer is at risk.
Many types of oral cancers do not come on suddenly. Instead, oral cancer can take many years to appear. People who drink or smoke while young may have oral cancer later in life. Nursing home residents need to have oral cancer screenings. This is even more the case if they had some types of behaviors and habits in the past.
Poor oral hygiene
Many people who live in nursing homes do not receive good oral care. Many residents are unable to properly floss and brush. It can be difficult for them to go have regular dental appointments. There is a strong link between oral cancer and poor hygiene. Bacteria can build up in the mouth and negatively impact the growth of cells.
In an oral cancer screening, the dentist can clean the patient’s teeth. This can reduce the risk of cancer in the patient. When a patient has a regular cleaning, there are other benefits as well. The overall health of the patient can improve.
Weaker immune system
As people age, the immune system becomes weaker. That can cause elderly people to get sicker more than young people. When the immune system is weak, oral cancer is likely to develop. However, there is still hope as long as the cancer is caught early.
Get an oral cancer screening today
If you or a loved one are in a nursing home, then getting a screening can save your life. Seniors may develop oral cancer more than younger people. Poor oral hygiene and age can both factor into this. Catching oral cancer early can save a life. You should consider talking to your dentist about helping your loved one get a screening.
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