Oral Cancer Screening

  • Oral cancer is a disease characterized by abnormal cell growth in the mouth, lips, tongue or throat. In 2016, approximately 4,600 Canadians were diagnosed with oral cancer. Risk factors include: age, gender, diet, use of tobacco products and alcohol consumption. The good news is that oral cancer is successfully treatable if caught early enough, therefore prevention and early detection is key!As part of your routine dental check-up, screening for oral cancer allows us to detect the presence of squamous cell carcinoma(s) in the oral cavity and throat.  This process is thorough, quick and painless, and allows for a full examination to detect these cancers at an early and curable stage.

    SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

    • Bleeding or numbness in the mouth
    • Sores or patches that do not heal
    • White or dark red patches in your mouth, lips or tongue
    • Lumps or changes in the texture or colour of mouth tissues
    • Difficulty swallowing
    • Changes in taste or tongue sensation

    DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT

    Treatment depends on the severity and location of the disease, as well as your age and overall health. If oral cancer is suspected:

    • A biopsy (surgical removal and microscopic examination) of the suspicious area may be taken
    • Diagnostic images such asX-rays, ultra sounds, CT scans or MRIs may be taken
    • Chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery may be necessary to remove tumor(s)

    ORAL CANCER PREVENTION TIPS

    • See your dentist regularly for check-ups and ask us about oral cancer screenings
    • Stop using tobacco products – ask your dentist about tools to help you quit
    • Limit alcohol consumption
    • Limit sun exposure and use U/V protective lip balms
    • Maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet
    • Check your mouth regularly for signs or symptoms and report any changes in your mouth to your dentist right away

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