Oral Cancer Screening
What Is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is any cancer that affects the mouth, including your lips, tongue, cheeks, roof or floor of the mouth, gums, and entrance to the throat. It can significantly affect the important functions of your mouth, such as eating and speaking. Moreover, if not detected early, oral cancer is almost always fatal.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
There are several risk factors that can raise your chances of developing oral cancer. One of the biggest risk factors is if you smoke or use any tobacco product. Studies have shown that 90% of oral cancer patients were tobacco users.
Another risk factor is excessive drinking. Between 70 and 80% of oral cancer patients were once heavy drinkers. Moreover, those who drink excessively and smoke put themselves at extreme risk. Other risk factors for oral cancer include a family history of oral cancer or the presence of certain strains of HPV.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
During your regular dental visits, your dentist will perform a screening for oral cancer. However, symptoms are not always convenient, waiting for your biannual oral cleanings and exams. Symptoms can present themselves at any time and include such things as:
Diagnosing Oral Cancer
At Implant and Periodontal Wellness Center of Arizona, we can screen for, and diagnose oral cancer. Along with a thorough oral examination, which includes the use of an intraoral camera, diagnosing oral cancer often consists of performing a biopsy. A biopsy involves removing a portion of a lesion in your mouth so that it can be examined under a microscope. There are a few different types of oral biopsies:
The biopsy is the best way to diagnose or rule out oral cancer. Once we determine the type of disease present, we can begin treatment. Based on the results of your biopsy, we can help to determine the best course of action. This can range anywhere from removing the lesion to the involvement of certain specialists. No matter what course of action needs to be taken, we will do everything we can to ensure that you are kept as comfortable as possible.
If you notice something odd in your mouth, don’t ignore it. Contact Implant and Periodontal Wellness Center of Arizona at (480) 504-0506 today to schedule your oral cancer screening.
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