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What to Look For During Oral Cancer Self-Exams


Posted on 10/10/2019 by Scott Redlinger
What to Look For During Oral Cancer Self-ExamsCancer is one of the deadliest diseases in the world. When caught late, it's usually very difficult to treat. That's why we recommend that people perform oral self-exams whenever they can. If you find something unusual, seeing a doctor can help confirm whether or not its cancer and if it is, start on the right course of treatment.

Oral cancer often appears as a sore or growth in the mouth that just won't go away. Any form of cancer be it of the tongue, lips, cheeks, the floor of the mouth, sinuses or even throat can be life-threatening if it's not identified early and appropriate action is taken.
 

Signs of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can present itself in many different forms. However, one common characteristic is that you will feel something foreign in your mouth. This means that should be on the lookout for thickenings, crusts, bumps, rough spots or eroded areas of the gums, lips or other sections of the mouth.

Another common sign of this sort of cancer is speckled or velvety white patches in the mouth. Additionally, if you experience bleeding that is unexplained in your mouth, you should schedule a meeting with us immediately. If you have any unexplained loss of feeling, numbness or a feeling of tenderness in areas of the face, neck or mouth, it should be a cause for concern.

Also, be on the lookout for sores that just won't go away on the neck, face or mouth. These sores usually bleed very easily and don't heal within 2 weeks. Another sign of oral cancer is feeling soreness in the throat. You might also feel as if something is stuck in the back of the neck. Even though it might not be cancer, it's always prudent to have it checked out. In case you experience difficulty while chewing, speaking, swallowing or moving the jaws or tongue, you should come in as soon as possible for a checkup.

Once cancer is identified in its early stages, the necessary steps can be taken to eliminate the problem while it hasn't spread to other areas of the body. We can perform surgery, followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy if needed.

Scott M. Redlinger, DMD, MD

(775) 430-5355