Request Your Oral Cancer Screening
Oral Cancer Screening
Proudly serving Chelmsford and surrounding towns.
There are two types of oral cancer: the type that develops in the oral cavity, including inside the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, and the roof and floor of the mouth. Oral cancer can also involve the middle of the throat, including the base of the tongue and the tonsils.
As with most forms of cancer, better treatment outcomes tend to occur when there is an early detection of oral cancer. By undergoing an oral cancer screening, you or a loved one can avoid becoming one of the over 10,000 people who die annually from this serious disease.
Oral Cancer Symptoms
Many times, the patient is the first person to notice the signs and symptoms of oral cancer. If you notice any of the following symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist if the condition does not change within two weeks.
- An irritation or sore that does not go away
- White or red patches
- Pain or tenderness in the lips or mouth
- A lump, crust, rough spot, or thickening area
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing, speaking, or moving your tongue or jaw around
- A change in your bite
Some people with oral cancer also develop a sore throat, as well as a feeling of hoarseness, a change in voice, or numbness in the throat.
Oral Cancer Risk Factors
There are a few factors that are known to raise the risk of developing oral cancer. Men are twice as likely to develop the disease as women. The most at-risk groups are those who drink alcohol excessively and smokers.
Oral Cancer Screening: What To Expect
It is not always necessary to schedule a special screening for oral cancer. Your dental is trained to look for the signs and symptoms during your regular appointments. This is also a good opportunity to reveal any changes to your current medical condition, and if you have been having any unusual symptoms.
Your oral cavity will be checked, which includes your lips, gums, cheek lining, tongue, and the roof and floor of your mouth. Other areas that will be examined include the tonsils and the place where your tongue is attached to the bottom of the mouth. Your jaw and neck will also be checked for the presence of any lumps or abnormalities.
If anything unusual is found, remain calm. Your dentist cannot know immediately if something is cancerous. So you may need to undergo some tests. You may also be re-examined at a later date to see if any areas of concern are resolving themselves on their own.
Preventing Oral Cancer
The main takeaway is to be aware of your risk factors. As they grow older, men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer. Habits that tend to make one more susceptible to oral cancer, such as drinking excessively, smoking, or having poor nutrition, can be changed to lower your odds of developing oral cancer.