Oral Cancer Screenings

Dentist Jericho

Oral Cancer Screenings

When we see our patients, at PDM Family Dental we to do comprehensive Oral Cancer exams. We check areas of the mouth intra and extaorally like in the video shown. We must revisit the health history, family history, ask about social habits. Ask questions regarding alcohol use, smoking, vaping, chewing tobacco.

Head and neck cancers are the 6th most common cancers worldwide and there are 54000 cases diagnosed every year in the United states. Even with recent advancements, the 5-year survival rate is only 50% in most countries.  Oral cancer is multifactorial and certain factors do put patients at higher risk. Here are some risk factors

  • Tobacco use
  • Alcohol use
  • Betel quid use
  • Gender (males are more at risk) 
  • Sunlight exposure (for lip cancer) 
  • Increased age
  • Previous cancer
  • Family history of oral cancer
  • Poor nutrition (diet low in fruits and vegetables) 
  • Human papillomavirus
  • Weakened immune system
  • Genetic syndromes: Fanconi anemia and dyskeratosis congenita
  • Poor oral health
  • Lichen planus
  • Graft-versus-host disease

As per the Oral Cancer Foundation here are some of the signs and symptoms of Oral Cancer. 

  • An ulcer or sore that does not heal within 2-3 weeks
  • A red, white, or black discoloration on the soft tissues in the mouth
  • Difficult or painful swallowing. A sensation that things are sticking in the throat when swallowing
  • A swollen but painless tonsil. Look for any assymmetry
  • Pain when chewing
  • A persistent sore throat or hoarse voice
  • A swelling or lump in the mouth
  • A painless lump felt on the outside of the neck, which has been there for at least two weeks.
  • A numb feeling in the mouth or lips
  • Constant coughing
  • An ear ache on one side (unilateral) which persists for more than a few days.

If you see any persistent, non-healing lesion, let us know! Early detection is the key to saving lives.