Oral Cancer Screenings in Camp Crossing, IL
More than 40,000 Americans will face a diagnosis of oral cancer every year. Fortunately, your dentist can help detect cancer in your oral cavity at an earlier stage when treatment is more successful.
What Is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is defined as a cancer that forms within tissues located inside the oral cavity. These include the gums, palate, cheek lining, inner lips and tongue. Cancerous lesions may originate within the mouth or be a result of cancer spreading from other sites such as the nasal cavity or lymph nodes.
Risk factors for mouth cancer include advanced age, male gender, smoking, tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, excessive sun exposure, human papilloma virus (HPV) and a family history of cancer. The disease can also occur in people who do not have traditional risk factors.
Signs of Oral Cancer
Early signs of oral cancer may include the following:
- Swelling or thickening of oral tissues
- Bumps, lumps or rough spots
- Crusty or eroded areas of skin or mucosa
- Velvety red, white or speckled patches inside the mouth
- Persistent mouth sores that refuse to heal
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
Oral Cancer Symptoms
Although mouth cancer symptoms can also arise from innocuous causes, you should take them seriously. If you experience any of the following oral cancer tongue and mouth symptoms, see your doctor or dentist immediately:
- Numb, painful or tender areas in the mouth, face or neck
- Chronic sore throat
- The sensation of having something caught in your throat
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing, speaking or moving your tongue or lips
- Hoarseness or changes in your voice
- Ear pain
- A change in your bite or how your dentures fit
- Unintended weight loss
Oral Cancer Stages
- Stage I oral cancer lesions are less than two centimeters in size and haven’t spread to lymph nodes.
- Stage II lesions are larger than two centimeters but smaller than four centimeters and have not spread to lymph nodes.
- Stage III cancers are either larger than four centimeters or have spread to one lymph node on the same side of the body. The lymph node containing the cancer cells is no larger than three centimeters.
- Stage IV cancers have spread into tissues around the lips or within the oral cavity or into more than one lymph node on the same side of the neck. They may also have spread to any lymph node measuring more than six centimeters or to other parts of the body.
Oral Cancer Screening Cost
Screening for oral cancer is generally performed by your dentist as part of a routine checkup and doesn’t require a separate fee. If you have cancer symptoms or are at high risk for developing oral cancer, your doctor or other healthcare provider may also conduct a screening.
Our dentists provide oral cancer screening at no additional cost during routine checkups. To schedule an appointment, contact our office today.
Oral Cancer Detection
Your dentist will conduct a careful visual inspection of your mouth to look for lesions or signs of cancer. He or she will also feel inside your mouth for lumps or unusual textures. Besides a manual exam, your dentist may use oral cancer detection devices such as special lights or dyes that reveal suspicious tissue types or brush biopsies to distinguish abnormal cells. If a suspicious lesion is detected, you may need to have a scalpel biopsy to rule out cancer.
Oral Cancer Survival Rate
Oral cancer survival rates depend on the type of cancer present and the stage at which it was detected. The overall five-year survival rate for oral cancer is 60 percent. However, many cases go undetected until they have reached an advanced stage. Our dentists can identify cancerous lesions in their early stages when many of them can be completely cured.
Oral Cancer Treatment
Treatment for oral cancer usually involves surgery to remove diseased tissues followed by chemotherapy or radiation treatment to destroy remaining cancer cells.
Don’t be a victim of a preventable tragedy. For lifesaving oral cancer screening in Camp Crossing, contact us today to schedule your dental checkup.