Oral cancer is estimated to contribute to 30 percent of all the cancer cases worldwide, affecting around 170,000 adults annually, and the numbers are expected to increase in the next five years. Although preventing cancer may not be possible, regular screenings can detect any problems early and increase your chances of surviving.
Mouth cancer represents abnormal cells affecting any part of the mouth, whether its tongue, cheeks, gums, lips, and the top of the mouth.
Mouth cancer is asymptotic in the early stages, meaning you may not notice any symptoms. However, self-examination (especially if you are at risk) and regular dental visits can help detect the lumps, tumors, or abnormal cells early. Nevertheless, some symptoms to watch out for include:
Although anyone can get oral cancer, some people are more predisposed than others.
Take note; these factors only include the likelihood of getting cancer. It is possible to get oral cancer without having any of the risk factors. It is estimated 25 percent of people with mouth cancer don’t smoke.
During your bi-annual dental checkup, our dentist will perform an oral cancer screening. A physical exam is done by feeling and checking for any abnormal cells, growths, lumps, and bumps. Modern imaging techniques, such as MRI and x-ray, may be used to check the spread of cancer cells. If anything is amiss, the dentist may further perform a biopsy or refer you to an oral surgeon.
Yes, there are a few limitations associated with oral cancer tests, and they include:
If cancer is detected, treatment may be initiated in collaboration with an oral surgeon. Several oral cancer treatment options are available depending on the stage and location of the cancerous cells. Surgery is the primary treatment option to remove the tumor and to reconstruct the mouth.
Radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy are also treatment options. Immunotherapy is ideal for people with advanced oral cancer and is not responding to standard treatment options. Our oral surgeon will choose the perfect treatment and take you through the procedure and risks involved if any.
There is no proven way of preventing oral cancer. However, it is believed a change in your lifestyle can go a long way in reducing your risk of oral cancer.
Oral cancer is benign in the early stages and may not show any symptoms. Your best chance of increasing your survival chances is to have regular screenings. Come to Scripps Poway Dental Care for an oral cancer screening.