Oral Cancer: What Do You Need to Know?
Thousands of people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. Sometimes early stages do not exhibit symptoms, so it is very important to get regular checkups to prevent bad consequences and get the treatment as soon as possible. If it is left untreated it can spread to other parts of the body and become life-threatening. Nowadays, younger and younger people are being diagnosed with oral cancer. Although people over 50 are at higher risk of having this disease, it is still recommended for everyone over 18 to get screened. Ask your dentist if they examined your mouth for oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Screening Procedure
Oral Cancer Screening is a visual and physical examination. During the procedure, dentist checks if there is any precancerous conditions or signs of cancer in your mouth. Screening helps to identify oral cancer as early as possible so that it would be cured and fully removed. Y dentist will be looking for is if there is any white and red patches or sores. They will also look for lumps by palpating the tissues in your mouth. Oral cancer screening can be performed during a regular check-up. If there are any doubts about diagnosis, there can be further testings made, which would help to determine if there are cancerous cells or no. You can also ask your dentist about risk factors, so you could see if you have more chances of getting oral cancer.
There is no obvious signs and symptoms that you could see yourself because cancer usually hides in areas of the mouth that only your dentist could check during regular check-ups. You should definitely see your dentist if you notice white, red or black sore that lasts more than two weeks. The dentist would check what causes it and determine if it’s cancerous or not. You may also experience painful chewing, strenuous swallowing, ear-ache or coughing. What is more, men are more likely to have cancer than women.
Here are the risk factors that may increase your possibility of having cancer:
- Tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, etc.)
- Excessive exposure to the sun (risk for lip cancer)
- Cancer diagnosis in the past
If you are concerned about a lesion in your mouth or if you are simply looking for a preventive oral cancer screening, contact us at Beverly Hills Dentistry at (310) 652-8383 We offer periodontal care as well as general and cosmetic dentistry.