Oral Cancer Screening: Proactive Oral Healthcare

A smiling female patient in the dentist's chairEarly detection is one of the biggest keys to preventing and treating serious illnesses or health concerns. Oral cancer is a potentially deadly disease that can often be identified through a basic examination. As part of every routine checkup, Dr. E. Mark Wade performs an oral cancer screening for patients at his Mesa, AZ, dental practice. Identifying cancer at the earliest stage possible can greatly increase the chance of curing it. During your visit, Dr. Wade will use a special light to check the mouth and lips for abnormalities or signs of oral cancer. To learn more about how we can use screenings to aid the early detection of oral cancers, contact our office today.

Dangers of Late Detection

Oral cancer is particularly dangerous because it can easily go unnoticed during early stages of development. In fact, many sufferers do not experience any associated pain or recognizable symptoms at the onset. As a result, this form of cancer is often only discovered when it has metastasized to another area, such as the lymph nodes in the neck. In these situations of late detection, the primary tumor may have already invaded deeper into surrounding structures, posing more significant danger to the patient.

Your Routine Oral Screening

Oral cancer screenings performed by Dr. Wade in our office are simple, quick, and minimally invasive. The doctor will begin by examining your head, neck, and lips for abnormalities. Next, he will gently feel the tissues inside your mouth before using a special light to perform a detailed visual examination, searching for white or red lesions and other signs of disease, virus, or infection. In the presence of cancer, the light will display a distinct spectrum, or pattern. If you are experiencing any symptoms of oral cancer, the doctor will ask several questions to help evaluate potential causes. If Dr. Wade detects any signs of oral cancer or precancerous lesions, he may recommend a biopsy procedure. This will allow for proper diagnosis, so you can begin seeking treatment as soon as possible, if necessary.

Risk Factors

There are several risk factors associated with oral cancer. However, the disease can still occur when no risk factors are present. Tobacco use of any kind is widely considered to be one of the biggest causes of oral cancer, in addition to heavy alcohol use. Additionally, excessive sun exposure on the lips, or the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV) can put patients at higher risk. If you are concerned about any of these factors, or if you think you may be experiencing symptoms of oral cancer, you should schedule a routine screening.

Schedule Your Screening

At Family Care Dentistry, we are proud to provide the highest level of care for our patients. Regular screenings can help keep you and your loved ones healthy. That is why we perform oral screenings at every visit to help our patients detect signs of cancer at an early stage, when removal and treatment is easiest. Contact our office today to schedule your routine oral cancer screening.

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