Protect your health and well-being with oral cancer screening services in Las VegasPosted By Dr. Christopher Lim
Many people are familiar with cancers of the lung, breast, prostate, and other parts of the body, but don’t think about the possibility of oral cancer. Like screening for breast cancer or colorectal cancer, screening procedures to detect oral cancers are available. The screening procedure is convenient, fast, and can be performed by your dentist during your routine hygiene visit. Dr. Christopher Lim in Las Vegas, NV takes the overall health and well-being of his patients seriously and provides oral cancer screening services to help detect oral cancer at the earliest stage possible.
Oral cancer overviewOral cancer, like other cancers, is caused by cells that grow uncontrollably, which can eventually invade and damage or kill your body’s mouth tissues or spread to other parts of your body.
Typically, oral cancer looks like a sore or a growth in your mouth that doesn’t heal or go away. These spots are called lesions and can develop in any part of your mouth or throat, such as your cheeks, tongue, lips, sinus cavities, and palates. If oral cancer is not treated at an early stage, it can metastasize throughout your body and become life-threatening.
Risk factors for oral cancer
While anyone can get oral cancer, your risk is higher if you have certain conditions or behaviors:
- Use of tobacco products: Smoking, chewing tobacco, and snuff are all dangerous, and tobacco users are up to 50 times more likely to get oral cancer than people who don’t use tobacco
- Age and gender: Men are about two times more likely to get oral cancer than women, and if you are over age 50, your risk is greater
- Heavy alcohol consumption: People who drink are about 6 times more likely to get oral cancer
- Sun exposure: If you have been heavily exposed to the sun, your risk is greater
- Family cancer history: If members of your family have had cancer, you may be at a greater risk for developing oral cancer
Most oral cancer screenings are done during regular preventive care trips to your dentist. At these hygiene visits, in addition to professionally cleaning your teeth and examining your overall oral health, the dentist will perform the oral cancer screening procedure. No special preparation is needed in advance of the screening, and it is quick to complete.
The dentist will look for the following symptoms that can indicate oral cancer:
- Patches in your mouth that look white, red, or speckled and have a velvety texture
- Spots or sores that are bleeding
- Thickenings, lumps, or rough or crusty spots on the lips, gums, or roof of the mouth
- Numbness, tingling, pain, or loss of feeling in any parts of your neck or mouth
- Sores that have lasted longer than 2 weeks
- A feeling of tightness in the back of your throat
- A chronic sore throat, ear pain, change in your voice, or hoarseness
- Unexplained weight loss
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