Procedure When Oral Cancer is Suspected

Posted on 8/20/2019 by Cole Anderson, DMD, MS
Procedure When Oral Cancer is SuspectedFinding out you have any type of cancer is not something people what to experience. Unfortunately, it can happen. Like any type of cancer, the sooner you detect oral cancer, the more treatment options you have. That is why it is important to look for the signs of oral cancer and to go through the procedure to diagnose it when you suspect it is a possibility. We can help you get the information you need.

Discovering the Cancer

The first step in dealing with oral cancer is recognizing the signs. The visible signs of oral cancer include sores that don't heal, white spots on the gums, loose teeth, mouth pain and difficulty swallowing. If a person sees any of these signs, they should make an appointment with us for further examination. The initial exam in our office will look for the same types of signs of a potential problem. They will also look at the risk factors a person has that include tobacco use, alcohol and family history.

If a person has any of the signs of a potential problem with oral cancer, further testing is done. X-rays, imaging tests, endoscopy and a few other tests can provide us with a full picture of the mouth and oral cavity. The only way to get a definitive diagnosis of oral cancer is through a biopsy. The biopsy involves taking a small piece of tissue from the suspected area and looking at it under a microscope.

What Comes Next?
After the tests, if no oral cancer is found, continued monitoring of the area is the next step. When the tests reveal oral cancer, it is necessary to determine the stage of the cancer and whether it has spread to other areas. The testing of that helps us determine the course of treatment for the cancer. Oral cancer is a serious condition, but it is treatable. The key is early detection. The sooner the problem is found, the easier it is to treat and to take care of the cancer.

For more information about this and any other oral health issue, contact our office to schedule an appointment.

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