Do You Need an Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral Cancer Screening

Do you have a sore in your mouth that just won’t go away? Are you unsure of what the strange discoloration on your gums could be? Or have you experienced voice loss for over 2 weeks? You may need an oral cancer screening.

Oral Cancer Symptoms

Oral cancer is a potentially life-threatening disease that we screen for during initial consultations, routine cleanings, and examinations. During oral cancer screening, we carefully examine the mouth, tongue, and throat for any signs of oral cancer. Signs often include:

  • White or red patches
  • Lumps
  • Lesions
  • Swelling
  • Abnormal discolorations

However, oral cancers cannot be diagnosed by sight alone. Any area of concern will further require a biopsy — the only definitive way to determine if cancer is present. If you notice any significant changes in the mouth, neck, or throat area consult with our specialists regarding an oral cancer screening.

When Should I Get an Oral Cancer Exam?

The main goal of an oral cancer examination is to detect any precancerous or cancerous symptoms in the mouth. Most people discover symptoms of oral cancer from biting the tongue, cheek, or inside of the mouth. If there is a noticeable difference of lumps located anywhere in the mouth, throat, or neck, or spots that have changed in texture, a professional exam is advised.

When oral cancer symptoms are detected and treated in the early stages, the chance of recovering is significantly heightened. Oral cancer exams are quick and painless, and are another good reason to have a complete dental checkup every six months! Oral cancer screenings are part of each routine checkup!

During the oral examination, be sure to advise the specialist of any concerns you may be having. Things you should inform our specialists of include:

  • Any sores or lesions in the mouth area
  • Earaches
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Numbing sensation in the tongue
  • Loss of voice for long periods of time
  • Pain or difficulty moving the jaw

Potential Causes of Oral Cancer:

Individuals who are at a higher risk of oral cancers will benefit greatly from oral screening exams. Factors that increase the risk of oral cancer include:

  • Tobacco use of any kind
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Previous oral cancers diagnosis
  • History of significant sun exposure can lead to lip cancer

Limitations of Oral Cancer Screening:

Most mouth sores are noncancerous and cannot be properly diagnosed by sight alone. If an abnormal spot is found in the mouth, additional exams may be required to determine whether or not it is cancerous. The definite way of doing so is by performing a biopsy on the abnormal spot. During this procedure, some of the abnormal cells will be removed to be tested for cancer.

Request Your Oral Cancer Screening Today!

In the above info-graphic, you can see the 8 essential steps taken in your oral cancer screening by our certified staff at Rockefeller Cosmetic Dental. If you’re ready for your bi-annual check up, give us a call at (212) 581-1091 or request your consultation online today!

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