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Comprehensive Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer impacts approximately 30,000 people each year. Fortunately, with early intervention, it can be cured. At Associates in Family Dentistry, we are your partner in optimized oral health. With a commitment to protecting and enhancing the well-being of our patients, we provide comprehensive oral cancer screenings in Aurora, CO. Reach out to us today to learn more about oral cancer treatment options.

Understanding Oral Cancer

What causes oral cancer? While the cause remains unknown, oral cancer typically begins in the squamous cells in the lining of the lips and mouth, making it a form of squamous cell carcinoma. This condition occurs when cells develop DNA mutations that escalate, causing cancerous cells to blend together, creating a tumor that can spread throughout the oral cavity and body.

Oral Cancer Statistics

At Associates in Family Dentistry, we believe in empowering our patients with the education to protect their oral health and well-being. How common is oral cancer? Oral cancer is two times more common in men than women, making it the eighth most common cancer in men. The average age for diagnosis is 62, with only 25% of cases involving people under 55.

Doctors Performing Oral Surgery in Aurora, Denver, CO, and nearby areas

Where Oral Cancer Develops

Oral cancer can develop in any portion of the oral cavity and spread rapidly to areas including the head, neck, and other parts of the body. Common areas for oral cancer to develop include:

  • Lips
  • Tongue
  • Gums
  • Inner cheeks
  • Roof of the mouth
  • Throat and sinuses
  • Under the tongue

Identifying Oral Cancer

Oral cancer traditionally begins as a lump, sore, or patch of discoloration on the lips or inside the mouth that will not heal. Oral cancer treatment is proven successful when early intervention is pursued to screen and diagnose the condition in its early stages. In contrast, late-stage oral cancer can be life-threatening.

Five-Year Survival Rate for Oral Cancer

At Associates In Family Dentistry, we encourage patients to pursue oral cancer screenings when an oral abnormality is detected. This is because early diagnosis raises the five-year survival rate of oral cancer from 65% to 84%. Furthermore, if the oral cancer has the chance to metastasize, the five-year survival rate drops to 39%.

Oral Cancer Symptoms

Oral cancer brings several uncomfortable symptoms. It’s imperative to schedule a screening if you identify the following oral cancer signs:

  • Oral sores that will not heal
  • Growth or lump inside the mouth
  • Reddish or white patches inside the mouth
  • Explainable loose or bleeding teeth
  • Mouth or ear pain
  • Trouble or pain when swallowing
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Weight loss

Factors That Can Increase the Risk of Oral Cancer

While the cause of oral cancer is not clear, studies have shown that several factors can increase the risk of oral cancer. These risks include the following:

  • Tobacco use, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and beyond
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Personal or family history of oral cancer
  • Extensive sun exposure

Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer screenings are performed during routine dental examinations. Our specialists review your medical history and ask about potential symptoms. They then conduct a physical assessment of the oral cavity, including the cheek lining, gums, tongue, lips, roof, and floor of the mouth, as well as feel the jaw and neck to detect abnormalities or masses.

What Happens After an Oral Cancer Screening?

If an abnormality is detected during your physical oral cancer screening, our specialists will arrange further diagnostic testing. This may involve x-rays and other imaging tests to evaluate the size, location, and extent of the suspicious area. For a definitive diagnosis, a sample of the growth or lump may be sent for biopsy.

Choose Compassionate Care with Associated In Family Dentistry

At Associated In Family Dentistry, we believe oral cancer screening is a fundamental pillar of standard dental care. We prioritize patient health and comfort by encouraging early diagnosis and preventative measures to safeguard patients from oral cancer. Combining our time-honored expertise and state-of-the-art technology, we are your partner in enhanced oral health.

Schedule Your Oral Cancer Screening

It’s never too early to get proactive about your oral health. Associates In Family Dentistry are here to guide you with our dedicated professionals, compassionate and comprehensive dental care, and preventative oral cancer screenings that help you preserve the health and integrity of your smile. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Schedule an Appointment Today