Oral cancer can affect any area of the mouth or throat, including the gums, lips, tongue, roof of the mouth, tonsils, and salivary glands. It often appears as a small growth or sore, but unlike canker sores that dissipate within a few days, lesions that manifest as a result of oral cancer do not go away. Fortunately, if caught early, oral cancer can be treated. At Pearl White Dentistry, Fort Lauderdale dentist Dr. Natalia Benda-Celenski performs route oral cancer screenings to detect cancerous cells as early on as possible and determine the best course of treatment possible to stop the cancer from spreading and prevent it from recurring.
It is estimated that approximately 40,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. Oral cancer symptoms can vary between individuals, but typically, those affected will show similar signs. Some of the most common symptoms of mouth cancer include:
Oral cancer can affect anyone at any age. Generally, men have a higher risk of developing oral cancer than women, especially men over the age of 50. However, there are certain factors that can increase the chances of developing mouth cancer. Common risk factors include:
During an oral cancer screening, Dr. Natalia will examine your mouth and throat to look for any sign of sores as well as discolorations in your gums and oral tissue. We may also use a VELscope, an instrument that utilizes a fluorescent light, to detect lesions in the mouth that may not be visible to the naked eye. We may also take a sample of the lesion or saliva for further testing.
While oral cancer screenings are precautionary, depending on our findings, we may recommend further testing or refer you to a specialist for further evaluation. Often, cancerous cells can be removed through surgery. Radiation or chemotherapy may also be recommended to eradicate the cancer and prevent it from spreading or returning.
The sooner oral cancer is caught, the better the prognosis for the individual and the higher the likelihood that the cancer will respond to treatment. At Pearl White Dentistry, your oral health is our primary concern. Through regular oral cancer screenings, we can determine your risk of developing mouth cancer and recommend the best course of action to both prevent and treat the cancer. To schedule a screening call our Fort Lauderdale office today at (954) 491-8812 or contact us online.