Oral cancer is one of the most common and deadly forms of cancer in the United States today, and because you see your dentist more regularly than your primary care physician, Dr. Case is in a unique position to detect and diagnose oral cancer before it progresses. A quick, simple oral cancer screening at your next dental appointment could save your life.
Facts & figures
Did you know that oral cancer is the only form of cancer that is becoming more common in the United States? In recent years we’ve seen an increase in oral cancer associated with HPV infection. Nearly 50,000 new cases of oral cancer will be diagnosed in the US in 2016, and nearly 20% of these victims will die from it.
What does oral cancer look like?
Signs and symptoms of oral cancer that we look for, and that you should be on the lookout for at home include (can occur on the lips, mouth, tongue, gums, throat, or any area inside the mouth):
- Swelling, thickening, lumps, rough spots, crusting, or erosion
- Velvety white, red, or speckled patches
- Unexplained bleeding
- Numbness or loss of feeling
- Pain or tenderness
- Persistent sores
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
- Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, change in voice
- Ear pain
Risk factors for developing oral cancer include:
- Smoking – Smokers are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than non-smokers
- Chewing – Patients who dip, snuff, or chew are 50 times more likely to develop oral cancer
- Alcohol – Oral cancer is six times more common in drinkers than non-drinkers
- Family history of cancer
- Excessive sun exposure
Early detection for better outcomes
The earlier oral cancer is diagnosed and treated, the better your chances at survival and recovery. That’s why we’ve invested in a high-tech Velscope® oral cancer screening device. Velscope® oral cancer screenings use natural tissue fluorescence visualization to allow us to detect abnormalities that would otherwise go unseen by the naked eye. Velscope® gives our team and our patients peace of mind, and the power to fight back against oral cancer.
Call your Portland Dentist today!
If you’ve noticed any of the above signs and symptoms, or you just want the peace of mind that an oral cancer screening can offer, you’ve come to the right place. If you have any questions about oral cancer screenings, or would like to schedule an appointment with your Portland dentist – Dr. David Case at Family Dental Health – give us a call today at (503) 433-3737.