Oral cancer signs may include oral sores that bleed easily and do not heal, a color change of the oral tissues, a crusting, eroding, roughness or thickening of any tissue areas. Any lumps with or without tenderness, numbness, and difficulty swallowing, chewing or speaking are all potential signs.
Like most cancers, early detection is paramount for successful treatment. Being aware of the early signs and symptoms along with periodic professional exams help facilitate early diagnosis.
Your dentist has access to your oral cavity on a regular basis and is trained in detecting the signs of oral cancer. 75% of all head and neck cancer originates in the oral cavity, with 30% of these originating on the tongue. Squamous Cell Carcinoma is the most common cancer found in the oral cavity. Typical signs may appear inoculant but must be monitored and evaluated.
Like most cancers, early detection is paramount for successful treatment!
A Standard Rule of Thumb
A standard rule of thumb is that any lesion or sore that does not heal in 10-14 days, needs to be evaluated. Special attention must be paid to these signs in patients that are at high risk from tobacco use, alcohol and HPV exposure.
A typical dental exam should include a thorough visual examination of all oral tissues. Adjunctive screening procedures have been developed to further identify suspect lesions.
Fluorescence light examination and Tuluidine blue staining of abnormal tissue further identify lesions that may require biopsy to determine a definitive diagnosis.
Most of the time your dentist will conduct a thorough oral cancer screening examination that includes ViziLite™ Plus, and will see that everything looks completely normal. That is a good news!
However, there may be times when your dentist identifies something that looks abnormal. At that point, your dentist will use his expertise and may ask you to come back in a few weeks to follow up, or may refer you to an oral surgeon for a biopsy.
What your dentist may see using ViziLiteTM Plus
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