Oral Cancer Screening
Do you have a sore in your mouth that just won’t go away? Don’t know what that weird discoloration on your gums could possibly be? Or have you experienced voice loss for over 2 weeks? You may need an oral cancer screening.
Oral cancer — which includes cancers of the lips, tongues, cheeks, mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and pharynx (throat) — is a potentially life-threatening disease we screen for during your first visit to our office and at all of your routine cleanings and examinations that follow. We check your mouth, tongue, and throat carefully for any suspicious signs like white or red patches, lumps, lesions, swelling, or 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.
When Should I Get an Oral Cancer Exam?
It is a healthy practice to regularly inspect your mouth and tongue to monitor for any unusual signs. Most spots people discover occur from biting the tongue, cheek, or inside of the mouth or from loose bridges or dentures causing minor irritations. However, any red or white spots, patches, or lesions — along with spots that have changed in texture, lumps anywhere in the mouth, throat, or neck, or change in voice that last longer than two weeks — warrant a professional exam.
When oral cancers that are caught 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!
Potential Causes of Oral Cancer:
- Tobacco use
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Previous oral cancers
- History of significant sun exposure can lead to lip cancer
Limitations of Oral Cancer Screening:
- Additional Tests Required. Most mouth sores are noncancerous and sight alone cannot determine whether or not a suspicious spot in the mouth is cancerous. Biopsies will be sent to our lab for testing
Request your Oral Cancer Screening Today!
In the above infographic, 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!