Oral Cancer Screenings
The American Cancer Society released a study that shows that oral cancer is diagnosed in approximately 28,000 individuals every year. Many of these cases result in death. Cancer is not a condition to take lightly, and many patients are unaware of the risks and problems associated with oral cancer. With proper examinations, diagnosis, and treatments, patients can minimize the damage done by cancer.
Oral cancer examinations are an important part of every adult patient’s check-up or recall visit. At each recall visit, the hygienist will perform an oral cancer screening. The screening will include palpations of the head and neck and examination of oral tissues.
There are general signs a patient may notice that may indicate the possibility of oral cancer:
- Difficulty moving the jaw
- Soreness of the throat
- Trouble swallowing or chewing
- Constant pain and discomfort in the mouth
- Bumps and sores that do not go away
- Lump in the neck
- Pain in the ear
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
- Chronic denture sores
If a lesion is suspicious, Dr. Kim may recommend a procedure called a brush biopsy. Using this procedure, a little tissue is brushed off the spot and sent away to a pathologist for a microscopic and histological diagnosis.
If cancer is found, referrals to surgeons or oncologists are made for appropriate treatment. It is important to seek medical attention when oral cancer is suspected, and to have regular oral cancer examinations to screen for problems. Catching cancer early provides the best success for healing, and with a proactive approach towards cancer screenings, patients can enjoy better oral health and act fast if problems occur.
If you are considering an experienced and qualified dentist, we welcome you to call Dr. Kim today at (708) 349-3990 to schedule an oral cancer exam.