Oral Cancer Screenings
We emphasize the importance of providing oral cancer screenings to our patients. Our team is certified to detect and properly diagnose oral cancer. By detecting any abnormalities in your oral health early, we will help you get the treatment you need to either reduce or eliminate the risk of developing a more serious oral health condition.
During an oral cancer screening, we will check for any abnormalities on your mouth, throat, lips, gums, or tongue. We will carefully examine any potential signs that we find. Let us know about any potential oral cancer symptoms you have experienced. Some common symptoms that may indicate early oral cancer include:
- Pain or difficulty with speaking, swallowing, or moving your jaw or tongue
- A sensation that something is caught in the back of your throat
- Sore throat with no other sinus symptoms
- Lumps or swellings in or around your mouth
- Drastic weight loss
- White or red patches in your mouth
- Mouth sores that do not heal
- Unexplained ear pain
- Unexplained bleeding in your mouth
If you have experienced any of these symptoms for more than a week without signs of recovery, call us immediately for an appointment. Ask for an oral cancer screening.
In the United States alone, one adult dies every hour of every day from oral cancers. While it is true that any person may develop oral cancer, there are certain factors that can play a role in increasing your risks. Some of the most common include:
- Being male (men are more likely to develop oral cancer than women)
- Use of tobacco in any form (6 times more likely)
- Genetic predisposition for oral cancers
- Excessive or prolonged exposure to sun
- Unhealthy diet
- Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Having gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Regardless of cause, the success of any treatment will depend on the size, type, and stage of the cancer. This is where early detection plays such a critical part. With early detection comes smaller cancerous or precancerous areas, which can be more easily removed. Early detection means treatment starts sooner, so less invasive procedures are required and the cancer is unlikely to have spread to other systems. The survival rate with early detection is quite high, but is utterly dependent on regular oral cancer screenings.
Our dentist provides comprehensive, high quality dental care for families including oral cancer screenings.
Our office offers an additional tool to help detect some oral pathology including Oral Cancer. We use a device called Velscope. The Velscope uses a special light to make subtle changes in the oral tissues more visible to the examiner. If we notice something with our Velscope we have the ability to take a photograph and share it with other doctors to help with a diagnosis.
We make sure to understand your concerns and answer your questions regarding diagnosis or treatment for oral health issues, including oral cancer.
Contact our dental office for more information on oral cancer screenings or for a consultation.