We perform oral cancer screenings for every patient of ours. The incidence of oral cancer deaths is higher than most of the cancers that we hear about, such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and skin cancer. It is important to find oral cancer as early as possible when it can be treated more successfully. We routinely check your face, neck, lips and entire mouth for possible signs of cancer at your regular examination and preventive care visits. Oral cancer frequently goes unnoticed by the patient because it does not usually produce obvious pain or noticeable symptoms.
Signs & Symptoms of Oral Cancer include:
A sore or lesion in the mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal within a couple of weeks.
A lump or thickening in the cheek, or a rough spot or eroded area.
A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth or other color changes in oral tissues.
A lingering sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat.
Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue.
Pain, tenderness or numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth.
Swelling of the jaw that causes teeth to fit poorly together or dentures to become uncomfortable.
There have been two main causes identified as being linked to oral cancer:
long term use of tobacco and alcohol exposure to the HPV-16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16) – this is also the most common cause of cervical cancer in women.