Oral or mouth cancer is detected in an estimated 50,000 Americans and nearly 10,000 die from this disease every year. Like most cancers, early detection is vital for the best options in treatment. When identified in the early stages, oral cancer can be effectively treated, but it has very few noticeable early symptoms. At Liberty Lake Smile Source, we offer oral cancer screening as one of our preventive oral health options at our dental center in Spokane Valley.
Oral cancer can affect the throat or tissues in the mouth, duplicating malignant cancer cells that can eventually spread to other areas of the body. There may be no symptoms in the first stages of mouth cancer, but this is when it is treatable. However, there are some possible signs you may have oral cancer, including:
- White or red spots on the oral tissues (tongue, gums, roof/floor of mouth)
- Lumps or bumps in mouth or throat
- Oral sores that do not heal after two weeks or longer
- Sore throat, hoarse voice
- Difficulty swallowing
While older adults have a higher risk of oral cancer, it can affect anyone at any age. If you have any symptoms of oral cancer, you should schedule an oral cancer screening immediately. However, routine examinations can catch cancer before there are symptoms.
Identify Mouth Cancer Early
An oral cancer screening involves one of our dentists carefully examining the mouth, face, neck and tongue for any signs of cancer growths. Careful inspection can identify changes in the tissue that cannot be seen easily without the right equipment and expertise. Oral cancer exams can be performed with your routine dental checkups, and there are no lab tests or invasive procedures needed. If our doctors find any concerning signs, we will refer you to a specialist for more testing and possible treatment.
At Liberty Lake Smile Source, we care about our patients and their overall health. Whenever possible, we want to provide preventive oral health care to protect every patient’s health. When you schedule your next checkup, ask about oral cancer screening to check for any signs of mouth cancer. Contact our dental center in Liberty Lake, WA, in the Spokane Valley to schedule your appointment.