You don’t often step into our office thinking that we have the power to save your life, but we do. At least, we have the power to detect oral cancer so that you can get the treatment before it is too late. Statistics show time and again that the only way to really defeat cancer is to find catch it early and treat it quickly. At each of our six month cleanings and exams, we will be looking for signs of oral cancer.
You might be thinking that oral cancer isn’t a possibility for you. After all, it’s just for those who use tobacco products, right? Wrong. Oral cancer isn’t picky. It is more common in tobacco users, but there is also a large increase in the number of oral cancer diagnoses related to human papillomavirus (HPV). Oral cancer isn’t limited to one demographic, so we check everyone.
What Are We Looking For?
When we check for oral cancer, we are looking for abnormalities in your mouth. Oral cancer can occur on any soft surface of your mouth including your lips, cheeks, tongue, roof, gums etc. We are looking for areas that are red, white, fuzzy, swollen, numb, painful, scabbed, or open sores that won’t go away. Each of these is a sign that something is not right, and if we feel like it is necessary, we will take a biopsy to send to the lab. If the result is indeed positive, we will refer you for treatment right away.
If caught early and treated aggressively, oral cancer has a high survival rate. However, if you aren’t having your mouth checked regularly, you are putting yourself at risk for some serious trouble. Contact us today to set up your next appointment. We would love to see you soon and talk with you about your oral cancer risk.