Oral Cancer Screenings in Peoria, IL
Oral cancer is a potentially fatal disease that is often only detected at a later stage when treatment is less effective. Fortunately, your dentist can find it in its earliest stages and increase your chances of recovery.
Oral Cancer Facts
Oral cancer refers to malignant cell growth that develops within your oral cavity which includes your cheek and lip lining, your tongue, and your gums. Cancer can begin growing in your mouth or it can appear after cancer spreads from another part of your body. You may be at a higher risk for oral cancer if you’re a middle-aged male, or if you drink excessively, smoke, or use chewing tobacco. Excessive sun exposure and infections caused by the human papilloma virus can also lead to oral cancer.
Early Signs of Oral Cancer That Your Dentist May See
- Swelling of oral tissues
- Bumps or masses
- Unusual texture of skin or mucosa
- Red or white patches inside the mouth
- Mouth sores that haven’t healed after two weeks
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
Commonly Reported Oral Cancer Symptoms
Oral cancer tongue and mouth symptoms can be caused by less serious conditions, but it’s important to report the following symptoms to your dentist or doctor:
- Numbness or pain in your mouth, face, or ears
- A sore throat that is persistent
- Feeling as if something is stuck in your throat
- Problems chewing or swallowing properly
- Hoarseness or voice changes
- Problems with tongue or lip movement
- Bite changes or unusual problems wearing dentures
Classification: Oral Cancer Stages
Oral cancers can be classified into one of four stages that define both their size and their spread to other tissues. Stage I and II cancers are less than two centimeters across and have not spread to any surrounding tissues, while stage III and IV cancers are either larger or have spread to local or distant sites. Cancerous oral lesions in later stages are more difficult to treat and have poorer outcomes.
Oral Cancer Screening Can Save Lives
If you have risk factors for oral cancer, or you’re experiencing unusual symptoms, you can obtain an oral cancer screening during your routine dental checkup. All of our skilled dentists perform cancer screenings at no charge during dental examinations. To protect your oral and general health, contact us to schedule yours today.
How Can Dentists Detect Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is detected through visual exams, manual exams, and the use of special detection tools such as dyes that reveal abnormal tissues, handheld lighted devices, and brush biopsies. If your dentist discovers a suspicious lesion, you may need a traditional biopsy to test for the presence of cancer.
What Is the Overall Oral Cancer Survival Rate?
Sixty percent of oral cancer patients are still living five years after their diagnosis. However, earlier detection leads to a higher cure rate and less invasive treatment. When you visit our dentists regularly, any signs of oral malignancy can be addressed before they become a larger threat to your health and longevity.
How Is Oral Cancer Treated?
Oral cancer treatment typically involves various combinations of surgery to remove the lesion and chemotherapy or radiation treatment to destroy leftover cancer cells.
Cancer is a disease that no one wants to face, so detecting it early is the best way to protect yourself. We can put your worries to rest with a professional oral cancer screening in Peoria. Schedule your dental checkup today.