We perform a thorough oral cancer examination during your checkups because early detection can save your life.
The signs of oral cancer
Oral cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the mouth and throat. Some of the warning signs are:
- a red, white, or discolored patch or lump in or around your mouth.
- a sore that bleeds easily or that does not heal within 2 weeks.
- an area that has thickened, raised, or become hardened.
- a rough patch of tissue.
- difficulty chewing or swallowing.
- a chronic sore throat or hoarseness.
Oral cancer exam
During the exam, we feel for lumps or abnormal tissue changes on your neck and inside your mouth.
We thoroughly examine the soft tissues in your mouth, especially the most frequent oral cancer sites—
- the floor of your mouth.
- your soft palate.
- your lips.
- your gums.
We may also do additional testing or use specialized equipment to identify any suspicious areas, particularly if you’re at higher risk, such as adults over 40, anyone who uses tobacco, especially those who also drink alcohol excessively, or people who have had oral contact with the human papilloma virus.
Some lifestyle changes can minimize your chances of developing oral cancer changes including—
- Do not smoke or use smokeless tobacco.
- Avoid excessive use of alcohol.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables each day.
With regular exams and a healthy lifestyle, you can better maintain your oral and overall health.