One of the most important clinical screenings that we do as part of a thorough dental examination is an Oral Cancer Screening Exam. Over 8,000 cases of Oral Cancer are diagnosed in this country every year, and many of these cancers are discovered in the dental office. As a result, we make sure that at every initial and recall exam we do an extensive screening of the Oral Cavity for Oral Cancer. There are many risk factors that contribute to the development of Oral Cancer, and many lesions go undetected until the treatment becomes very extensive. In our office Dr. Pastrell and the Hygienists perform Oral Cancer Screening Exams at each Initial Visit and each Recall Visit. If we see something that looks suspicious we will either biopsy the lesion in the office, or refer you to an Oral Surgeon for proper Diagnosis and Treatment.
Here is an article about oral cancer from Cancercenter.com. Click on the links below for additional information about oral cancer.
What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer begins in the mouth, also called the oral cavity. This region of the body includes the lips, the inside lining of the lips and cheeks (called the buccal mucosa), the teeth, the gums, most of the tongue, the bottom of the mouth, and the bony roof of the mouth, or hard palate.
In addition, oral cancer can also develop in the oropharynx, which is the part of the throat that is just behind the mouth. When cancer occurs here, it is called oropharyngeal cancer or throat cancer, and can include the back of the tongue, the back of the roof of the mouth, the tonsils, and the walls of the upper throat.
The oral cavity and oropharynx are key to the healthy functioning of the body. They help us breathe, eat and speak. Salivary glands in the oral cavity start breaking down food as we chew, an essential part of digestion.
Cancer can develop in any part of the oral cavity. Because each part of the oral cavity is different, oral cancer encompasses a wide variety of cancer types that are treated in different ways.