As with any good villain, this one is hard to defeat. Relentless and malicious, villains are bound to committing wicked acts and conducting evil. And this one is no different. One of the most feared villains in the human story is cancer. This year alone it’s estimated that over 50,000 new cases of oral cancer will be diagnosed in the US.
As with other forms of cancer, catching oral cancer early and beginning treatment as soon as possible can mean the difference between life and death. For this reason, t’s important to receive an Oral Cancer Screening every three years. Visiting an oral surgeon like Dr. Pollock for your screening ensures you’re being looked after by an expert. While regular dentists have the knowledge to identify it, oral surgeons have even more as they’re often the ones responsible for removing tumors.
Oral Cancer Symptoms
- Patches – Developing red or white patches in your mouth can be an important indicator that something may be off.
- Sores – If you have sores in your mouth that never seem to heal regardless of how long they’ve been there it could be a sign of an oral pathology especially if they’re overly sensitive to touch or bleed easily.
- Lumps – Discovering a lump in your mouth, like anywhere in your body should be cause for concern. Lumps may indicate tumor growth or other ailments as well.
- Pain – Chronic aches or pains in your mouth, throat, or ear might also lead your dental care provider to recommend additional tests to determine the source.
If you’re a person who smokes, drinks alcohol regularly, has had oral cancer in the past, or spend inordinate amounts of time in the sun and have damaged your lips as a result you are more at risk for developing oral cancer and should seek out a screening.
What Does the Screening Look Like?
An oral cancer screening is performed by investigating the patient’s mouth. Checking for signs of the symptoms listed above, sores, lumps, patches, or pain.
- The basic exam includes a thorough look at the inside and outside of your mouth, gums, tongue, cheeks, and the back of your throat. This exam usually takes about five minutes to complete.
- A more in-depth exam requires the patient to rinse with a blue dye prior to the exam, which is used to identify unusual cells in your mouth that react to the dye.
- A final, more telling exam involves taking a biopsy of a suspicious piece of tissue.
Schedule Your Oral Cancer Screening Today
Oral cancer is very dangerous to your health and if any of the symptoms above resonate with you, you should speak with your dentist or oral surgeon about an oral cancer screening. Call Rockwall Oral Surgery today at (469)264-8921 and schedule your appointment with Dr. Pollock.