• Oral Cancer Screening

  • Early detection is the best way to prevent the spreading or worsening of any type of cancer. The earlier we can detect oral cancer, the better chance we have at successfully treating it.

    We want to find neck, head, and oral cancers at the first possible sign. Some of these symptoms often include bleeding, pain, dysphagia or otalgia in the areas mentioned above. Dr. Tina and her team will thoroughly assess your mouth and neck, usually in just a few short minutes. This fast and easy exam is vital in detecting and treating oral cancer early on.

    In just one year, nearly 37,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer. About 43% of those people will die within 5 years of their diagnosis. Not because it is difficult to find, but because of late detection. Oral cancer is usually found after it has metastasized.

    It is important to watch for signs in between your twice yearly checkups, so you can report any changes or anything unusual.

    Signs and Symptoms

    Things to look for at home

    • Sore that doesn't heal in 2-3 weeks
    • Red, white or blue patch
    • Lump or thickening in cheek
    • Numbness in mouth that didn't used to be there
    • Swelling that causes dentures to fit poorly (not to be confused with a denture sore)

    These symptoms could be caused by problems which are less serious but should be checked to rule out oral cancer.

    Risk Factors

    • Alcohol and tobacco use
    • Human Papilloma Virus
    • Unknown (5%) -- Genetics suspected

    Historically, nearly 75% of oral cancer was related to alcohol and tobacco use and was found in the 50+ age group. Recently, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) has started to change the trend. Younger, non-smokers are the fastest growing group of oral cancer patients. This means that people ages 20 and up are at risk even if they don't smoke.

    Oral Cancer Screening

    • Check face for assymetry, swelling, discoloration, ulceration
    • Palpate lymphatic chains
    • Evaluate lips (inside and out)
    • Evaluate cheeks (inside and out)
    • Evaluate tongue (both sides, and underneath)
    • Evaluate floor of mouth
    • Evaluate soft palate
    • Check tonsils