Oral Cancer Screening
Dedicated to Complete Oral Health
At North Ottawa Dental Services, we are committed to preserving and improving your smile, delivering restorative treatment, and keeping a close eye on any potentially serious developments. It is in pursuit of this last mission that we include oral cancer screenings as part of our regular dental examinations.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more than 10 adults in every 100,000 will be afflicted with oral cancer. These rates are higher for men, certain ethnic groups, and those over the age of 50, but no one should discount this potentially life-threatening disease, especially when it is so simple to diagnose.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Almost all oral cancer symptoms can be mistaken as indicators of less serious conditions. That’s why regular screenings are so important. Self-diagnosis is a risky proposition that has led many to misdiagnose, or cause the condition to be detected later than would otherwise be the case, to their detriment. Please do not let this happen to you. If you have any of the following symptoms, please arrange for an examination as soon as possible.
- Unusual difficulties with such actions as swallowing or chewing
- Spots in the oral cavity that are red or white in color
- Any lumps or thickened areas
- Sores that don’t heal quickly
- Discomfort, tenderness, numbness, or pain in and around the mouth
Our oral cancer screenings are quick and simple. You don’t have to worry about spending your day in the dental office. We provide a full examination of your entire mouth, visually inspecting every area for signs of cancerous or pre-cancerous tissue. Touch is also important to the oral cancer screening as many irregularities can be better felt than seen. If any abnormalities are found, we may conduct a simple test by collecting cells for further analysis. Should these tests turn out positive or inconclusive, we may recommend a biopsy for firm diagnosis.
Preventing Oral Cancer
Studies have confirmed that most forms of cancer are fully preventable, and that only a minority of cases arise solely from genetic factors. Oral cancer is no exception: we therefore encourage our patients to do their part in stemming this insidious disease that has now reached epidemic proportions.
You can help prevent oral cancer by immediately ceasing use of any tobacco products and maintaining a healthy diet including fruits and vegetables. Your health professional can share other behaviors that have been positively associated with the recent rise in the incidence of oral cancer. A regular dental examination and screening can go a long way toward catching problems before they grow into something far more serious. Contact us for your appointment.