The Facts About Oral Cancer

The more you know about oral cancer, the higher of a chance you’ll have at preventing the disease or identifying and treating it at the early stages of development. So, to help you know more about this sickness, our Smiles Dental team has provided the answers to the following oral cancer questions:

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
There are many signs that lead to oral cancer, like:

-Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
-White and red patches in the mouth
-Persistent sores on the neck, face, and mouth that refuse to heal within 2 weeks
-Difficulty chewing and swallowing
-Lumps, bumps, rough spots, or eroded areas in the mouth
-A soreness in the back of the throat
-Numbness or pain and tenderness in the face, mouth, or neck
-Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
-Ear pain
-A change in the way your dentures fit together
-Dramatic weight loss

Who can get oral cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, men are twice as likely as women to suffer from oral cancer. Men who are also over the age of 50 face the greatest risk. Generally, those who use tobacco products, consume an excessive amount of alcohol, have a family history of cancer, have been exposed to the sun excessively, or have HPV are at a high risk of developing oral cancer.

How is oral cancer diagnosed?
The most common way oral cancer is diagnosed is with an oral cancer screening at your dental office. When you come in for a dental exam, your dentist will also thoroughly examine your mouth, throat, and sinuses for any signs of oral cancer. If he does notice a symptom, a biopsy may be needed. A biopsy will involve your dentist removing a section of the sore or patch and examining that portion in a dental lab. This will help him know if the sign is cancerous or not.

How is oral cancer treated?
The only way to treat oral cancer is with surgery. Your doctor will remove the cancerous section of your mouth and will then get you started on radiation therapy or chemotherapy to destroy any other cancerous cells in your body.

If you have any questions about oral cancer in Woodburn, Oregon, or if you’re interested in knowing more, please call 503.980.4657 today and schedule an appointment with your dentist, Dr. Ken Waddell. We also encourage you to give us a call if you’re interested in taking advantage of the oral cancer screening treatment we offer at our office. We are happy to help you!