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The Dentist on Boones Ferry
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Oral Cancer Screening
Lake Oswego, OR

Older white patient sitting in dental chair calmly discussing his oral health with his Black female dentist The Dentist on Boones Ferry dentist visit.Oral cancer refers to the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the oral cavity, which includes the lips, tongue, gums, floor, and roof of the mouth. It can also affect the tonsils and the salivary glands.

Oral cancer is a significant health concern, as it can lead to severe complications if not detected and treated early. Like other forms of cancer, oral cancer can spread to other parts of the body if not addressed promptly.

Oral cancer screenings are an integral part of preventive healthcare and are often conducted during routine dental check-ups. The screening process involves a thorough examination of the oral cavity to identify any abnormal or suspicious changes.

Dr. Petersen is trained to recognize early signs of oral cancer and can recommend further diagnostic tests if needed.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

Several factors increase the risk of developing oral cancer. Some of the more common risk factors include:

•  Smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes, as well as using smokeless tobacco, significantly increases the risk of oral cancer.
•  Heavy alcohol consumption is a known risk factor for oral cancer, and is further amplified when combined with tobacco use.
•  Certain strains of Human Papillomavirus (HPV), particularly HPV-16 and HPV-18, are associated with an increased risk of oral cancer.
•  Prolonged exposure to the sun without adequate protection can increase the risk of lip cancer.
•  Persistent poor oral hygiene and the presence of conditions such as gum disease can contribute to the development of oral cancer.
•  Oral cancer is more common in individuals over the age of 45, and men are at a higher risk than women.
•  Individuals with weakened immune systems, whether due to medical conditions or medications, may have a greater risk of oral cancer.
•  A family history of oral or other types of cancer may elevate the risk.

While the presence of these risk factors does not guarantee the development of cancer, they highlight the importance of vigilance and regular screenings.

Benefits of Early Detection

Early-stage oral cancer is often more responsive to treatment, including surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Detecting and treating oral cancer early may help preserve the functionality of the affected areas, such as the tongue, salivary glands, and jaw.

Early-stage cancers may require less aggressive treatments, leading to a lower risk of side effects and improved quality of life during and after treatment. The prognosis for oral cancer improves significantly when it is diagnosed and treated at an early stage. Early detection can contribute to higher survival rates.

Treatment for advanced oral cancer may involve extensive surgery, leading to potential disfigurement. Early detection allows for more conservative treatment approaches, reducing the impact on appearance.

Oral Cancer Screening Process

Screening Techniques

We will conduct a visual inspection of the oral cavity, including the lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, and the roof and floor of the mouth, looking for any unusual changes in color, texture, or the presence of lumps or sores.

Physical examination of the oral tissues also involves gently feeling for lumps or abnormalities. This includes checking the neck and jaw for swollen lymph nodes.

If necessary, we may use additional tools, such as lights, mirrors, or dye, to enhance visibility and identify any areas of concern. You can also expect us to inquire about the patient's medical history, including risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol use, HPV infection, and family history of cancer.

Frequency and Timing

The frequency of oral cancer screenings can vary based on individual risk factors and recommendations from healthcare providers. However, in general, regular screenings are typically conducted at routine dental check-ups, which may occur every six months. For individuals with higher risk factors, we may recommend more frequent screenings.

Oral Cancer FAQ's

What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening?

During an oral cancer screening, we will examine the oral cavity for any signs of abnormality or suspicious changes.

The process typically involves a visual inspection of the lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, and the roof and floor of the mouth. Palpation, or physical examination by feeling for lumps or abnormalities, is also part of the screening. Oral cancer screenings are often performed during routine dental check-ups, providing an opportunity for early detection.

What Does Oral Cancer Look Like?

Oral cancer can present in various ways, and its appearance may differ from person to person. Common signs and symptoms include:

•  Persistent lumps or sores in the mouth that do not heal
•  Unusual changes in the color of oral tissues, including red or white patches
•  Persistent sore throat
•  Difficulty swallowing or chewing, accompanied by a sensation of something caught in the throat
•  Numbness or tingling in the mouth, tongue, or other areas of the face
•  Persistent hoarseness or voice changes

It's important to note that these signs and symptoms do not necessarily confirm the presence of oral cancer, but they warrant attention and evaluation by a healthcare professional.

How Common Is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is a significant health concern, but its prevalence varies globally.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), oral cancer is among the 10 most common cancers worldwide. In some regions, the incidence of oral cancer is higher, particularly in populations where tobacco and alcohol use are prevalent.

The link between oral cancer and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection has also contributed to its prevalence.
Regular oral cancer screenings, along with lifestyle modifications and risk factor management, play a crucial role in addressing and reducing the impact of oral cancer.

Is Oral Cancer Contagious?

Oral cancer is not contagious. Unlike certain viral infections, such as the common cold or influenza, oral cancer does not spread through casual contact or airborne transmission.

The development of oral cancer is primarily linked to genetic factors, lifestyle choices, and environmental exposures. Risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol use, HPV infection, and a family history of cancer contribute to the likelihood of developing oral cancer.

Adopting preventive measures, such as regular oral cancer screenings and lifestyle modifications, is essential for early detection and management.

Contact Us Today!

We gladly welcome new patients! Feel free to give our office a call at (971) 377-1208to ask about procedures, billing, or any other questions you may have. Our friendly receptionists will be happy to help.

You may also contact us through our secure Online Appointment Request Form.
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Oral Cancer Screening - Lake Oswego OR
Learn about oral cancer screening, risk factors, benefits of early detection, screening process, FAQs, and contact us for appointments in Lake Oswego, OR.
The Dentist on Boones Ferry - Carly C. Petersen, 3900 Douglas Way, Lake Oswego, OR 97035 - (971) 377-1208 - - 5/26/2024 - Tags: dentist lake oswego -