Oral Cancer Screening

Close to 50,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year. The biggest concern with oral cancer is detecting it at an early stage so it is more predictably treated. Smoking tobacco, excessive consumption of alcohol, having Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and those with a family history of cancer are risk factors that increase the chances of developing the disease. It often manifests itself as white or red patches in the mouth and can go unnoticed because they are not necessarily painful or bothersome at first. Cancerous growths in the oral cavity can cause a number of odd symptoms including: a new sensation of numbness/tingling/pain/odd taste, swollen lumps or eroded areas on the lips or in the mouth, persistent sores that do not heal, or the feeling that something is stuck in the throat or problems swallowing. Regular dental visits with oral cancer screenings and prompt follow up if you have any new unexplained oral conditions or symptoms is so important in early detection and treatment of oral cancer.