Detecting oral cancer in its earliest stages is now easier than ever. Drs. Robertson and Orchard have the tools and experience to identify the earliest signs of cancer and pre-cancerous conditions. More than 34,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer. On average, only about half of those diagnosed with oral cancer live more than five years, due in part to late detection. Early detection is your best defense, which is why we provide oral cancer screenings during every checkup at our Corpus Christi practice. Call us today if you have never been screened for oral cancer, or if it has been longer than a year since your last screening.
Some Facts about Oral Cancer
- Oral cancer begins as a small white or red sore anywhere in the mouth. These can occur on the lips, gum tissue, tongue, palate, or cheek lining.
- Oral cancer occurs most frequently among people over the age of 40.
- Tobacco users are more likely to develop oral cancer, especially if they also use alcohol.
- On the other hand, about 25 percent of oral cancer patients have no known risk factors.
- Warning sings also include a color change in oral tissues, pain and tenderness anywhere in the oral cavity, difficulty swallowing, chewing or speaking.
What a Screening Involves
During an examination at our Corpus Christi office, the dentist will conduct an oral cancer screening, carefully examining your entire mouth with a VELscope®. This device shines a special blue spectrum light inside the mouth, instantly revealing abnormalities not visible with the naked eye. If abnormalities are detected, the dentist may perform a brush test, which collects cells that may be sent to a laboratory for analysis. If the test detects precancerous cells, the sore may be surgically removed.
Preventing and Detecting Oral Cancer
Your best bet against oral cancer is to avoid using alcohol and tobacco. Taking this step, in combination with making regular visits to your dentist, can greatly decrease your chances of developing oral cancer, or help you overcome it should you develop pre-cancerous cells. The health of your smile is very important to us, and we want to be the professionals who help you maintain the absolute best oral health. Even if you avoid alcohol and tobacco, and brush and floss regularly, it is extremely important to undergo regular oral cancer screenings by a trusted dental professional. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.