oral cancer screening, Oral cancer detection, Dentist in Tigard

Oral Cancer Detection

Shedding Light on Oral Cancer Screenings: Early Detection Saves Lives

Oral cancer detection is a technology that we can all be greatful for.  Having the ability to catch it early is essential in surviving oral cancer. Oral cancer is a type of cancer that affects the mouth and throat.  It can also develop in the lips, gums, tongue, and the within the tissue of the cheeks and even the roof of your mouth.

When you visit us in our Tigard dental office, we will provide you with a through oral cancer screening that make oral cancer detection easy and painless.   Why is this important? Because it has been estimated that over 50,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer every year.  Furthermore, there are more than 10,000 deaths every year due to oral cancer. That is precisely why catching it early on, is so critical.  Early detection is the key component to the outcome of treatment and increasing the chances of surviving oral cancer. It is for this reason that we place so much importance on cancer screening in our dental office.

When you come in for your routine check-up, we are also examining your mouth for any signs of disease. This includes the lips, gums, tongue, and inner cheeks. What we look for is any abnormalities that might need further evaluation. During your routine check-up, we will perform the screening process which is quick and painless.  It only takes a few minutes.

While we perform the screening, we will be on the lookout for any abnormalities or possible signs of cancer, such as sores, lumps, or red or white patches. There may also be an examination of the throat and neck area of which we are looking for any indications of swelling or tenderness.  If we were to detect anything that we feel is suspiciously associated with mouth cancer, we would start by recommending a biopsy.  The test will provide more conclusive information that could determine if cancer is present.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

  • Tobacco use
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Whether or not there is a history of this type of cancer that runs in your family
  • Other head and neck cancers
  • A weakened immune system
  • Exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV)

Catching Oral Cancer Early

Oral cancer detection is critical for people who are at higher risk for oral cancer and may need more frequent screenings.

It is important that we screen for this because oral cancer can be difficult to detect in its early stages. Symptoms are not always noticed until the cancer has progressed to a more advanced stage.  When that happens, it can make treatment more difficult.  But more importantly, the more advance the cancer becomes, the higher the chances become of not surviving this disease.

That is why we place so much importance on our screenings. When you catch it early, there is a better chance of successful treatment and a higher likelihood of survival.

Oral Cancer Screening Device

In our Tigard dental clinic, we utilized a special device known as VELscope to perform oral cancer screenings.  This tool detects early signs of cancerous or pre-cancerous tissues in the mouth.

It uses a blue light to illuminate the tissues of the mouth and a special filter to make abnormal tissue appear darker or more fluorescent than healthy tissue. This makes it easier our dentists to identify areas of concern that may require further examination or biopsy.

The VELscope can help with oral cancer detection in its earliest stages, improving the chances of successful treatment and reducing the need for invasive procedures. This is just one reason why twice a year check-ups are so important.  

It is a non-invasive and painless procedure that can be completed in just a few minutes during a routine dental exam.

Be Proactive

It is a non-invasive and painless procedure that can be completed in just a few minutes during a routine dental exam.

In addition to regular screenings, there other steps you can take to make your oral health a priority and avoid such disease in the first place.  Be proactive and take the steps to reduce your risks.

Avoid tobacco use.

Limit alcohol consumption.

Practice good oral hygiene including regular brushing and flossing.

Visit your dentist for regular check-ups.

Protect your lips from the sun and use lip balm with sunscreen when spending time outdoors.

Oral cancer screening is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. Regular screening can help detect oral cancer in its early stages, increasing the chances of successful treatment and improving survival rates. If you have not had an oral cancer detection screening recently, we are here to help. Give us a call and schedule your appointment without delay.