Oral Cancer Exam

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Oral cancer examinations

Reasons for an oral cancer exam

According to research conducted by the American Cancer Society, more than 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year.  However, oral cancer can easily be diagnosed with an oral cancer exam, and effectively treated when caught in its earliest stages.

It is important to note that around 75 percent of oral cancers are linked with modifiable behaviors such as smoking, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption.

Any noticeable abnormalities in the tongue, gums, mouth or surrounding area should be evaluated by a health professional as quickly as possible.

Oral cancer exams, diagnosis and treatment

During each visit to our office, Dr. Day will look for changes and lesions in the mouth and maxillofacial region.  There are many different places in which oral cancers commonly occur, including:

  • Lips
  • Mouth
  • Tongue
  • Salivary Glands
  • Oropharyngeal Region (throat)
  • Gums
  • Face

The following signs will be investigated during a routine oral cancer exam:

  • Red patches and sores – Red patches on the floor of the mouth, the front and sides of the tongue, white or pink patches which fail to heal and slow healing sores that bleed easily can be indicative of pathologic (cancerous) changes.

  • Leukoplakia – This is a hardened white or gray, slightly raised lesion that can appear anywhere inside the mouth.  Leukoplakia can be cancerous, or may become cancerous if treatment is not sought.

  • Lumps – Soreness, lumps or the general thickening of tissue anywhere in the throat or mouth can signal pathological problems.

The oral cancer examination is a completely painless process.  During the visual part of the examination, Dr. Day will look for abnormality and feel the face, glands and neck for unusual bumps.

If abnormalities, lesions, leukoplakia or lumps are apparent, Dr. Day may refer the patient to the appropriate health professional for evaluation and biopsy of the area.

If you have any questions or concerns about oral cancer, please contact our office at 517-393-8500.

Day Family Dental

Dr. Nathan Day, DMD • Dentist • Lansing, MI


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