Oral Cancer Screenings in Crown Point, IN
Thousands of people will face an oral cancer diagnosis each year. If you see your dentist for regular screenings, your chances of detecting cancer early are much better, which makes a cure more likely.
What Does Oral Cancer Mean?
Oral cancer or mouth cancer refers to a malignant growth that occurs inside the mouth. Abnormal cells may form in your cheek lining, lips or gums. Oral cancer also includes growths on the tongue. Your risk of developing mouth cancer is higher if you are a male who is more than 50 years old. Other risk factors include smoking, alcohol consumption, sun exposure, genetics and exposure to the human papilloma virus (HPV).
Visible Signs of Oral Cancer
The following are easily detectable signs of oral cancer:
- White, red, or speckled flat patches inside your mouth
- Mouth abrasions or sores that never heal
- Unusual lumps or bumps inside your mouth
- Crusty or ulcerated areas
- Unexplained bleeding inside your mouth
- Swelling or thickening of mouth tissues
Do You Have These Oral Cancer Symptoms?
Contact your dentist or doctor if you develop one or more of these oral cancer tongue or mouth symptoms:
- Mouth pain or tender areas inside your mouth
- Unexplained numbness of your mouth or tongue
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Problems speaking
- Unexplained voice changes
- Sore throat that won’t go away
- A feeling that something is stuck in your throat
- Pain in or near your ears
- Changes in bite or denture fit
The Four Oral Cancer Stages
Each stage of oral cancer defines size of the cancerous lesion and the extent to which it has spread to other tissues.
- The lesion is smaller than two centimeters across and has not spread to other tissues.
- The growth is between two and four centimeters in size, but has not metastasized to other areas.
- The lesion is more than four centimeters across, but hasn’t spread.
- A growth of any size has not spread, but cancer cells are present in one lymph node less than three centimeters in size on same side.
- Cancer has spread into surrounding oral tissues or to two or more lymph nodes located on the same side.
- Cancer has spread into a lymph node that is larger than six centimeters.
- Cancer has spread to other body parts.
The Value of Oral Cancer Screening
Most dentists will perform an oral cancer screening at no cost during a routine dental checkup. It may also be performed by other medical care providers if symptoms are reported.
All of our dentists provide careful cancer screenings at no extra charge during routine exams. To schedule your appointment for a dental exam and cancer screening, call our office.
Oral Cancer Detection Methods and Tools
Our skilled dentists use visual and manual exams as well as advanced oral cancer detection tools to find cancer at the earliest and most treatable stages. Detection tools include special high-powered LED lights, special dyes that highlight abnormal tissue, and simple brush biopsies. If more information is needed, a traditional biopsy can give more definitive results.
Overall Oral Cancer Survival Rate
The overall chance of surviving oral cancer for five years after a diagnosis is about 60 percent. However, the stage and type of cancer involved is an important factor in predicting treatment outcomes. Many cases of oral cancer can be cured when caught early; that’s why it’s important to see your dentist regularly.
Oral Cancer Treatment Options
Treatment for oral cancer typically begins with surgical removal of the cancerous tissue. Chemotherapy treatment or radiation may follow.
If you would like to obtain oral cancer screening in Crown Point, our expert providers can help. Call our office now to schedule your next dental exam and cancer screening.