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Oral Cancer Screening


Oral cancer is a serious condition. It is a term that describes the largest group of cancers in the head and neck category. Oral cancer can begin anywhere inside the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, palate, gums, or near the entrance to your throat. If oral cancer is not treated early, it can be fatal. The earliest stages of oral cancer, however, are not always easily noticed. Over 40,000 Americans are diagnosed each year, and just over half survive past five years. Regular dental exams are crucial for early detection. At Pacific Oral & Facial Surgery Center, we can perform oral cancer screenings, spotting early warning signs and helping you to get the early treatment you need to prevent serious consequences.

Oral Cancer Symptoms

There are several different symptoms that can point toward oral cancer. The earliest symptoms can often be difficult to detect. Missing early signs of oral cancer can then lead to a later diagnosis, which can then have significant, and deadly, consequences. Symptoms of oral cancer include:
•  Changes in your oral tissues, including unusual growths, red or white patches, or other abnormalities.
•  Sores that will not heal.
•  Changes in your bite. For denture wearers, you may notice that your dentures suddenly no longer fit properly.
•  A numb sensation in your chin or jaw.
•  Difficulty chewing, swallowing, or even breathing.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

Some people are more likely to develop oral cancer than others. There are various factors that can increase your risk. Some can be controlled, while others cannot.
•  Tobacco and alcohol. Tobacco products and excessive alcohol consumption significantly increase your risk for oral cancer. Approximately 90% of all oral cancer patients were smokers while 70% to 80% of oral cancer patients were heavy drinkers.
•  Certain strains of the human papilloma virus. There are several strains of human papilloma virus, commonly called HPV. Only a handful have been linked to oral cancer issues, with HPV16 having the strongest link.
•  Family history. Having close family members, such as a parent, who has had oral cancer can increase your likelihood.
•  Age. Older adults are more likely to develop oral cancer than younger adults. Additionally, men are more likely to develop oral cancer than women.

How Is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?

During your routine dental exams, the soft tissues of your mouth are examined for early warning signs of oral cancer. If an issue is found, you are then recommended for a closer evaluation. During this exam, not only is your mouth visually inspected, but x-rays are also taken. In addition to these measures, a soft tissue biopsy may be done as well. A soft tissue biopsy involves the removal of a portion of an abnormality, or complete removal if the abnormality is small, for closer examination under a microscope.

A biopsy allows us to detect the presence of precancerous and cancerous cells. With this type of testing, we can diagnose or rule out, the presence of oral cancer. If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, we can then recommend you for the treatment you need to restore your health before the issue becomes worse. With early detection and proper treatment, oral cancer can be treated, and the spread can be prevented.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call us.




Board certified in Oral & Maxillofacial surgery
The surgical specialty of oral and maxillofacial surgery requires up to six additional years of hospital based surgical and anesthesia training beyond dental school.
Contact Pacific Oral and Facial Surgery Center Today!
The first step to a healthier, happier you.

Livermore
1133 E. Stanley Blvd. #215 • Livermore, CA 94550
Phone: 925-290-7727 Fax: 925-294-8800
Tracy
2160 W. Grant Line Road #160 • Tracy, CA 95377
Phone: Phone: 209-835-4600 • Fax: Fax: 209-835-8833

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