Oral Cancer Screening
Contact our dental office in San Francisco today if you think you may be at risk for mouth or oral cancer, contact our dental office in San Francisco today! Our team at Azure Dental is here to help diagnose and treat any dental problems you may be experiencing.
What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer is a type of cancer that affects the mouth’s tissues and can occur on the lips, tongue, cheeks, roof of the mouth, or floor of the mouth. Oral cancer is relatively rare, but it can be deadly if not caught and treated early, and early diagnosis provides a better chance at treatment success.
What does an oral cancer screening involve?
An oral cancer screening at Azure Dental in San Francisco, CA, involves a comprehensive examination and possibly additional tests or biopsy for further diagnosis of the mouth for signs of cancer.
The dentist will look for any visible signs of cancer, such as lumps or lesions. The dentist will also feel for any abnormalities in the mouth’s tissues.
Additional tests that the dentist may perform in the office during an oral cancer screening include:
- Oral cavity and pharyngeal cancer staging with imaging tests such as CT scan or MRI
- Brush biopsy
- Fluorescence image test
Many people think that they can diagnose oral cancer on their own by looking in the mirror at home, but this is not the case. Instead, oral cancer can often look like other conditions, such as canker sores and swollen tonsils.
Oral cancer is best diagnosed by a dentist or doctor who is specifically trained to look for signs and symptoms of the disease. Then, a biopsy must be sent to a lab to be evaluated for cancer cells and diagnosed.
Who would benefit most from an oral cancer screening?
An oral cancer screening is recommended for anyone concerned about their risk of developing oral cancer or for anyone who has any of the following risk factors:
- Oral cancer runs in your family
- You smoke or use tobacco products
- You drink alcohol excessively
- You have been exposed to HPV (human papillomavirus)
- Over the age of 40
When should you get an oral cancer screening?
Every year, it is suggested that people over the age of 40 get an oral cancer screening. If you have a higher risk of mouth cancer, you may need to be screened more frequently. Consider what would be best for you with your dentist.
Our dentist can do cancer screenings at your regular dental check-up, or you can schedule a separate appointment specifically for oral cancer screening.
If you are concerned about oral cancer or have any of the risk factors listed above, please talk to our San Francisco dentist about scheduling a screening. We want you to have a healthy smile and know how to prevent future dental issues.
Warning Signs of Oral and Mouth Cancers
Many times oral and mouth cancers can look like many things. However, you should see a dentist or specialist if you detect any of these early signs and symptoms:
- A sore in your mouth that does not heal
- A lump or thickening in the cheek
- A white or red patch on the tongue
- Trouble chewing, swallowing, or speaking
- Pain in the mouth or ear
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding in the mouth
If you have any of these symptoms, see a dentist or other specialist as soon as possible. Oral cancer is often curable if discovered early enough.
Visit Azure Dental for Your Screening Needs Today!
Azure Dental in San Francisco offers comprehensive oral cancer screenings. Our experienced dentists will examine your mouth for any signs of cancer and may perform additional tests to diagnose the disease.
Oral cancer can be fatal if not caught and treated early, so it is essential to get screened regularly if you are at a higher risk for the disease. Contact our office today to schedule your screening at 415-563-3100.