Over 40,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. While oral cancer is not as commonly talked about as other cancers, it can be just as concerning if not caught early. As you know, early detection is key to successfully treating any form of cancer, which is why our hygienists screen you for oral cancer at each of your hygiene appointments.
What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer is a cancer that affects any part of your oral cavity, which includes the:
- Cheek lining
- Upper palate
- Floor of the mouth
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
Oral cancer symptoms can include but are not limited to the following:
- A bump or lump in your mouth or neck
- A red or white or speckled area or patch
- Bleeding in your mouth with no explanation
- A lump in your neck
- Any change in the fit of your dentures or bite
What takes place during an oral cancer screening?
Your hygienist has been trained to perform this screening, so it will be one of the first things done during your regular appointment:
- She will feel all surfaces of your mouth, face and neck, to see if there are any suspicious lumps or bumps.
- She will evaluate the look and color of your tissues for discoloration or any red or white patches.
- Any sores will be examined.
Should a suspicious area be found, she will recommend you see a physician for further testing.