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What Happens During an Oral Cancer Exam?

Feb 16, 2019 | Uncategorized

Oral cancer is not as common as some conditions but that doesn’t mean that it is any less serious. Being screened for oral cancer can be scary and may present a lot of anxieties for some people.

While oral cancer is likely linked to genetics or a change in DNA mutations, it is helpful to know what happens during an exam so that everyone is able to know what to expect during this process.

Being well aware of what an oral cancer exam consists of will be helpful to anyone considering being screened for oral cancer. Today, we will go over what happens in an oral cancer exam, read more below:

What happens during an oral cancer exam?

Patient’s history

A patient’s medical history is extremely important to go over with the medical professional. The medical professional will be able to screen the patient with any questions about their medical history so that they have a better understanding of why the patient might be concerned about oral cancer.

A medical professional can go through the patient’s family history in order to find out if any of their family members may have experienced something similar. Talking through one’s family history can give the medical professional a better idea of why there might be cancer present. Often cancer is genetic so knowing if it affected any of the patient’s family members can be beneficial in the exam.

The exam

An oral cancer exam will entail an oral or dental professional looking at the mouth. He or she will look out for any lesions, patches or spots that don’t look normal. These areas might be of abnormal colors or textures and they are a sign of oral cancer forming. Aside from looking for signs with the eye, the oral or medical professional will also feel around with their hands for any bumps.

Typically the oral or medical professional will also want to consult with the patient’s primary dentist. The primary dentist can offer up any insight about previous oral or dental care that was given. Oral cancers can often be linked to dental problems so being aware of any past dental treatments can be beneficial.


Oral cancer can be frightening for people but being aware of what an exam or screening will be like can help ease any anxieties that a person might be feeling before their exam. An oral or medical professional will be able to use their expertise to look or feel for any signs of cancer.

If you have more questions about oral cancer and what the exam may entail then reach out to our office today. Our trained staff can answer any questions or guide you through what an exam may be like. Give us a call or stop in today.

Call our Leawood, KS, dental office to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Oral Cancer Screening.