Over 50,000 people a year are diagnosed with oral cancer and 10,000 of them will die because of it. Oral cancer can appear anywhere in the mouth and throat. Over the years we have found multiple cancerous and precancerous lesions in our patients - fortunately, early detection helped save their lives.
Oral cancer can appear in many ways. Most frequently it shows up as a sore, red and white patch, irritation, numbness or pain in the oral cavity that doesn't go away. Other symptoms are difficulty in moving your lips, cheek or tongue; presence of a lump, bump or thickening of oral tissue; or a persistent feeling like something is caught in your throat.
There are three main factors for oral cancer – tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption and HPV (human papillomavirus). HPV has recently become the leading cause of oral cancer.
Dr. Chicvak and his hygienists screen every patient as part of your regular oral exam. They perform a thorough examination of the neck, lips, mouth, tongue, cheeks, tonsils and throat with clinical magnification.
Every patient’s situation is unique. If you have an area that is cause for concern, we will take an intraoral photo and re-evaluate the area in 2 weeks. In some cases, we may recommend a biopsy or refer you to an oral surgeon colleagues for an evaluation.
If you think you have oral cancer or have any concerns about your oral health, contact our office.