Oral cancer is a very real threat to many people. As a result, most people should have an oral cancer screening during their routine dental exam. This is the sixth deadliest cancer globally, so this is a serious risk. There are many signs and symptoms of oral cancer that we will look for when we do a full check-up.
To do this, our team will look at the interior of your mouth. If we find any indication of oral cancer, we will recommend a biopsy. This allows us to take samples for testing to look closely at the cells. A biopsy is generally done by gently removing a small portion of the cells from the area. The oral cancer screening process is not painful and can be done in our office.
Keep in mind that we may recommend this on a routine basis if there are any concerning signs. Just having an oral cancer screening on a routine basis can help us detect it early.
Know what oral cancer looks like
Knowing the symptoms and signs of oral concern is essential. They include:
- Sores on the interior of the mouth that do not heal.
- Patches that are white or red located on the gums, tongue, or cheeks.
- Trouble swallowing or chewing.
- Lumps located on the gums, lips, tongue, throat, or other areas of the oral cavity.
- A feeling of something stuck or lodged in the throat.
- Numbness, pain, or bleeding in the mouth.
- Ear pain.
- Changes to the voice.
- Any type of long-lasting or hard-to-treat sore throat.
Who is at risk of oral cancer?
This condition can develop in anyone. As a result, we encourage every one of our patients to have this type of screening. Keep in mind that treatment is far more effective when it is early. Those who are most at risk for this condition include:
- A family history of cancer of any type (genetic testing may be available).
- Men are more likely to develop oral cancer than women.
- Those who smoke or use smokeless tobacco.
- Those who have HPV, or human papillomavirus.
- Those who are over 55 are more likely to have this condition.
- Those who drink alcoholic beverages frequently.
- Those who have had significant sun exposure.
Call our office for oral cancer screening and dental health
Do not put off getting the help and care you need. Call our office today to discuss your risk of this life-threatening condition. Oral cancer screening can be a part of your routine dental checkup. Contact our office today for your appointment.