Oral Cancer Screening
The term 'Oral Cancer'
includes cancerous growths in the cheeks, lips, mouth, throat, sinus, tongue, or anywhere in the oral cavity. As with most cancers, age is the primary risk factor for oral cancer, as most people diagnosed with a form of oral cancer are over 50.
|Other factors that contribute to increased risk of oral cancers include:
- heavy use of alcohol
- smoking or use of tobacco products
- prolonged exposure to the sun's harmful rays
- family history of cancers
During your dental examination Dr. Weingarten and his Aurora dental team will perform a thorough oral cancer screening, looking for any early signs that may be present. During your oral cancer screening we will ask you a series of questions as well as visually inspect the soft tissues in your mouth, cheeks and lips (we are looking for any discolouration or growths). Next we will feel your tongue for any signs of lumps as well as look under and around it for any discolouration. We will then feel your neck for any abnormalities in your lymph nodes.
If our Aurora dental team finds any evidence of potential problems we will explain the risks and suggest further specific testing.
While hearing the term 'cancer' can be scary, early detection of pre-cancerous tissue can minimize or eliminate the potentially disfiguring effects of oral cancer and possibly save your life. Many oral cancers have a high success rate of being treated, especially when found early.
Symptoms of Oral Cancers include:
- a lump in your neck or throat
- bleeding of your lips or oral cavity
- visible sore on your lip or in your mouth that does not seem to heal
- white or red patches (either on your lips, tongue, inside of your cheeks, on the roof or under your tongue)
- difficulty speaking clearly, chewing or swallowing
- loose teeth
- discomfort in your neck, throat or ears
- unexplained weight loss
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms or are concerned about your oral health, do not wait for your next routine exam, schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Whether there is cancer present or not, ignoring oral health problems or symptoms will not make them go away.