Oral Cancer Screening
A little caution goes a long way.
Don’t Leave It Up To Chance
Feeling anxious about that bump on the roof of your mouth?
From your throat to your lips, and all the areas in between, oral cancer can show up anywhere inside or around your mouth.
Cancer can spread very quickly to other parts of the body, and oral cancer, especially, can go undetected if you’re not being checked regularly. By the time you notice it yourself, the chances of recovery may be much lower.
That’s just one more reason why regular checkups are so important. While they help to keep your teeth looking clean and bright, they’re also a way of providing early detection for serious issues like oral cancer.
Getting Your Oral Cancer Screening
For Current Patients
When patients visit LA Dental Clinic for their routine checkups, they’ll automatically receive an oral cancer screening as part of their dental health assessment.
If you notice discomfort or signs of unusual activity in your mouth between your regular checkups, you can still book a dedicated oral cancer screening appointment.
For New Patients
If you’re not a regular patient at LA Dental Clinic, but you’ve noticed pain, swelling, or other signs of oral cancer in your mouth, you’re certainly welcome to book an oral cancer screening appointment with us.
Our Oral Cancer Screening Process
Just a few minutes could save your life.
During the screening process, we’ll visually examine your gums, tongue, throat and teeth to check for signs of oral cancer like unusual sores or areas that are discolored.
We’ll also perform a tactile (touch) examination – while wearing clean gloves, of course – to feel for bumps or other abnormal features on the inside of your mouth.
Comprehensive Multi-Point Inspection
Tongue and Throat
We’ll get you to stick your tongue out and move it around so that we can examine your tongue and throat areas for spots, bumps, and other signs.
On your gums, we’ll check for abnormal tissue, textures or colors, which are all red flags indicating the possibility of oral cancer development.
The inner lining and the outside of the cheeks are potential areas where oral cancer can begin, so we’ll carefully examine them for pre-cancerous activity.
The lymph nodes in your neck provide valuable information about the health of your mouth. If we notice swelling, that’s a potential sign of oral cancer.
Discomfort in your mouth could be a sign of oral cancer, so we’ll ask you to tell us about any pain or unusual sensations you’ve felt in your mouth.
Diet and Lifestyle
Lifestyle choices affect your chances of getting oral cancer, so we’ll make sure you’re educated about any risks from activities like smoking and drinking.
After Your Oral Cancer Screening
What happens if there are signs of oral cancer?
If your screening detects symptoms of oral cancer, the next step is for us to make sure that we’re certainly dealing with oral cancer and not another ailment. To do that, we use two methods:
Sometimes a part of your mouth may have an abnormal color or texture that isn’t caused by oral cancer. A follow-up assessment will let us observe changes in the area that can confirm whether its unusual appearance is a legitimate sign of oral cancer.
Tissue Sample (Biopsy)
In cases where we can’t confidently assess your mouth by touch or sight, we’ll painlessly take a small tissue sample for further laboratory testing, or recommend you to a tissue sampling specialist who can provide a second opinion.
How Is Oral Cancer Treated?
While we’re trained to recognize the symptoms of oral cancer, we want you to have the best possible care. That’s why, if your assessment comes back with bad news, we’ll recommend you to a specialist or work with your doctor to determine the right treatment approach for you.
In early stages of oral cancer, chemotherapy may not even be necessary, and you can simply have the patch of cells removed and radiated.
In more serious cases that have gone unnoticed for a longer period of time, chemotherapy is needed after the cells are surgically removed. This is often the case when cancer has spread to other parts of a patient’s body.
Play It Safe
Signs of trouble? Don’t ignore them – stay safe and book your oral cancer screening.
Whether it’s during your regular cleaning appointments, or through dedicated screening appointments, it’s vital that you get your mouth examined regularly for signs of oral cancer.
Those few minutes could be the difference between years of discomfort and years of good health, so why take the chance? Schedule your screening appointment or regular checkup today and protect your future.