Should I Be Worried About Oral Cancer?

To avoid skin cancer, wear sun protection (like sunscreen and hats). Use lip balms that contain SPF 15 to protect your lips from burning.

A critical portion of a dental examination is the oral cancer screening. At DentalWorks – Easton, our dental professionals perform an oral cancer screening on each of our Columbus, OH patients during their exam. During this portion of the exam, your dentist will perform a visual and physical inspection of your mouth and throat to look for symptoms of oral cancer. After putting on a fresh pair of gloves, your dentist will start by checking areas inside your mouth (under your tongue, the back of your throat, your cheek lining) to look for unusual growths or spots. They will also palpate (feel) your chin, jaw, and throat to check for lumps and swelling. Though a visual and physical exam performed correctly is usually enough to detect abnormalities, some dental practices also use oral cancer detection devices, like a blue light or mouth rinse. If your dentist is concerned, they will generally suggest you visit an oncologist.

Should your dentist finds signs of oral cancer, they will refer you to another doctor. To confirm oral cancer, the doctor will most likely perform a biopsy that examines a small number of cells from your mouth to look for abnormal cells. If you have oral cancer, your physician will explain your treatment options and help you develop your treatment plan.

    Oral surgery may be used to remove as much of the cancerous area as possible. Depending on the location of your oral cancer, this could be a simple outpatient procedure or a longer surgery. Surgery is usually followed by radiation or chemotherapy to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
    A group of strong drugs, chemotherapy can be utilized to slow the growth of cancer or destroy the cancer cells. Depending on the kind of chemotherapy medication used, you may experience different side effects during your treatment cycle.
    Radiotherapy uses localized x-rays, gamma rays, electron beam, or protons to stop cancer cells from multiplying. The radiation will be aimed at the region affected by cancer, which limits side effects to the rest of your body.

Make sure you’re going to a dentist in Columbus, OH at least once a year for a dental examination that includes an oral cancer screening. At DentalWorks – Easton our team checks every patient for signs of oral cancer during their visits. Early diagnosis and treatment can dramatically increase a patient’s survival rate so make sure you and your family are scheduling regular appointments for oral cancer screenings at a dental practice in Columbus, OH.