Oral Cancer Screenings
Oral cancer screenings are an essential part of our comprehensive preventative dentistry program at R. Ben Alexander DDS. Our expert, thorough screenings at our Mckinney, Texas office can improve your chances of successful treatment. Don’t put off your screening – set an appointment today for peace of mind and an excellent outlook on your dental and overall health.
What Are Oral Cancer Screenings and Why Are They Important?
Oral cancer screenings are exams that Dr. Alexander uses to look for signs of cancer in the mouth. These exams can help find cancer early when it is easier to treat. The earlier oral cancer is found, the better the chance for successful treatment.
With timely care and good supportive care therapy, many individuals with oral cancer can go on to lead healthy and productive lives.
A Healthy Lifestyle in Mckinney
As part of our preventative approach, we recommend a healthy lifestyle to help reduce the chances of cancer. Preventive care includes eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Risks and Causes of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is one of the most severe and dangerous types of cancer, yet it is often overlooked or misunderstood. The danger is partly due to the wide range of potential causes and risk factors that can contribute to its development.
Some of the most well-known risk factors for oral cancer include smoking tobacco or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, as these behaviors have been linked to an increased risk of developing the disease.
However, other less-understood causes may also play a role, such as poor diet, certain viruses, or overexposure to damaging UV rays from the sun.
Given all this complexity, we must continue to raise awareness about oral cancer and work towards earlier detection and treatment for those at risk of developing it.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can be challenging to detect, as the early signs and symptoms can often be subtle or nonexistent. If you are aware of the common indicators of oral cancer, you can seek treatment as soon as possible. Even if you are not aware of the common indicators, it’s good to have a professional screening occasionally by someone who can spot the signs that are difficult to see. This is another reason the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends a bi-annual dental checkup.
Some of the most common symptoms include changes in the color and texture of the oral tissues, soreness in the throat or mouth, and abnormal lumps or growths on the tongue or gums.
In some cases, an individual may experience more extreme signs such as difficulty swallowing, numbness in the face or limbs, and persistent dry mouth.
If you experience these symptoms for more than two weeks, you must speak with your doctor immediately to determine whether you may have oral cancer.
Treatment for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can affect many different parts of the mouth, including the gums, tongue, and lips. As with any form of cancer, treatment for oral cancer often involves a combination of medical interventions and lifestyle changes.
One commonly used approach to treat this condition is chemotherapy, which utilizes powerful drugs to attack and eliminate cancer cells. In addition to chemotherapy, patients may also be given radiation therapy to sterilize cancer or reduce swelling and inflammation.
What to Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening
During your screening, Dr. Alexander will examine the inside of your mouth and tongue for any irregularities or suspicious areas. This screening is a quick, painless procedure that can help detect oral cancer early on so that you have the best possible chance of recovery.