Oral Cancer Screening

A woman smiling after receiving an oral cancer screening at Lake Sammamish Family Dentistry in Issaquah, WACancer is a devastating disease. It can affect several different areas of the body, including the mouth. Oral cancer is the largest group of cancers that affect the head and neck region. It can affect the lips, the tongue, the cheeks, the gums, and more. Early detection and treatment are essential. Without it, oral cancer can be fatal. The problem, however, is that the earliest warning signs of oral cancer are easily overlooked. At Lake Sammamish Family Dentistry, we can detect the earliest symptoms, even if you cannot. Oral cancer screenings are a regular part of your routine dental exams, and they can help you to get the treatment you need right away if oral cancer is detected.

What are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

There are several symptoms of oral cancer. However, the earliest symptoms are not always noticeable, which often leads to later diagnosis. We are trained to spot the early warning signs. The sooner oral cancer is detected, the sooner it can be treated, and the more likely you are to beat it. Symptoms of oral cancer include:
•  Unusual growths on your intraoral tissues, such as red or white patches.
•  Lingering sores that just do not seem to want to heal.
•  Changes in your bite.
•  If you wear dentures, you may notice that your dentures suddenly no longer fit properly.
•  A numb feeling in your chin.
•  Trouble eating, swallowing, and speaking.

Who is at Risk?

Anyone can be affected by oral cancer. However, there are certain factors that can increase your risk of developing it.
•  Lifestyle habits. Both the use of tobacco products and drinking can significantly increase your risk. If you smoke and drink heavily, your risk increases exponentially.
•  Certain strains of human papilloma virus, or HPV. There are numerous strains of HPV. Only a few are linked to oral cancer. The strain with the strongest connection is HPV16.
•  Your age. Older adults, typically over the age of 55, are at a much higher risk. In addition to age, men are more likely than women to develop oral cancer.
•  You have a family history of oral cancer.

Detecting and Diagnosing Oral Cancer

During every regular dental exam, which should take place every six months, the soft tissues inside of your mouth are looked over for any signs of oral cancer. If we detect anything suspicious, we will then recommend you for a more thorough exam. During this exam, your mouth is looked over, and X-rays are taken. Additionally, a soft tissue biopsy may also be taken. A soft tissue biopsy is an important diagnostic tool. A small sample of the abnormality is removed for closer examination under a microscope. There are several different types of biopsies that may be used, including incisional, excisional, and brush. Under the microscope, we can detect the presence of precancerous and cancerous cells. If you receive an oral cancer diagnosis, we can then help you to get the treatment you need right away. Early detection, diagnosis, and treatment are essential for helping to ensure that the health of your mouth and your quality of life are restored. For more information, and to schedule your next dental exam, call Lake Sammamish Family Dentistry today at (425) 270-1075.
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Office Location

5712 E Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE
, Issaquah, WA 98029
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Opening Hours

Mon–Thurs: 7am–6pm
Friday: By Appointment
Saturday: 2nd Sat each month
Sunday: CLOSED
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(425) 270-1075

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