Oral Cancer Exam
According to the American Cancer Society, over 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year, with over 7000 of these cases resulting in the death of the patient. Fortunately, oral cancer can be diagnosed with an annual cancer exam provided by Drs. Morse, Cwiklinski or Achille. If caught early, oral cancer can be effectively treated.
Oral cancer is a pathologic process, which begins by producing no symptoms making it hard to recognize without an exam. There are many types of oral cancer; the most common form of oral cancer is malignant squamous cell carcinoma, which typically originates in the lip and mouth tissue. There are many other places in which oral cancers occur, including: the tongue, salivary glands, throat, gums, and face.
What to Expect from an Oral Cancer Exam
The oral cancer examination is completely painless. Drs. Morse, Cwiklinski and Achille will look for abnormalities and feel the face, glands, and neck for unusual bumps. Some of the signs that will be investigated are red patches and sores. Red patches on the floor of the mouth, or the front of the tongue, and bleeding sores which fail to heal easier, can be indicative of cancerous changes. Leukoplakia is a hardened white or gray, slightly raised lesion that can appear inside the mouth, and may be cancerous. Signs of these will be examined as well. Finally, soreness, lumps or the general thickening of tissue anywhere in the throat or mouth can signal pathologic signs, and will be examined.
If abnormalities are apparent, Drs. Morse, Cwiklinski or Achille may recommend a biopsy with us with possible reconstruction of the affected bone and gum tissue if needed or referral to another specialist for a second opinion and treatment.
It is also important to note that over 75% of oral cancers are linked with avoidable behaviors such as smoking and tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption. Drs. Morse, Cwiklinski or Achille can provide you with literature and options about quitting dangerous behaviors such as tobacco use.