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.
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