Thibodaux, LA dentist performs oral cancer screenings
Did you know that 1 in 100 Americans will be diagnosed oral or oropharyngeal cancer at some point within their lifetime? For patients diagnosed with mouth cancers, the chances of surviving are higher the earlier it is caught, which is why Dr. Palmer performs routine oral cancer screenings for Thibodaux, LA area patients at Acadia Family Dentistry.
Risk factors for oral cancer
Certain people are at a higher risk of developing oral or pharynx cancers, but it can strike anyone at any age, which is why screenings are important. Risk factors that make it more likely to develop oral cancer include:
- Tobacco use, including smoking or chewing tobacco products
- Sun exposure, particularly on your lips
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
- Older age
- Gender – males are more likely to get oral cancer
- Fair skin
- Compromised immune system
Signs and symptoms of oral cancer
Many patients are unaware that they have oral cancer developing, or the traditional signs and symptoms are not noticeable. Common symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Sores in your mouth or on a lip that do not heal over time
- Lumps or thickened tissues
- Red or white patches on the soft tissues (such as the gums, tongue, or mouth lining)
- The feeling that something is stuck in your throat that won’t go away
- Change in your voice or hoarseness
- Numbness, pain, or bleeding that doesn’t have a clear cause
Some of the above symptoms can also be due to other underlying conditions, so seeking a professional diagnosis is the best way to identify the cause.
Oral cancer screenings: what to expect
Oral cancer screenings are quick and painless. First, the doctor performs a visual inspection of the inside and outside of your mouth, including your lips, inside of your cheeks, tongue, gums, floor and roof of the mouth, and throat. Then, using gloved hands, she will check the inside of your mouth for any suspicious areas that might not be visible but can be felt. The whole process only takes a few moments and can be done at your regular preventive care visit, making it an easy and convenient way to get screened regularly.
To schedule your check-up and oral cancer screening, call Acadia Family Dentistry in Thibodaux, LA today! Our office can be reached at (985) 303-2920.