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Oral Cancer Screening

An X-Ray which is part of the Oral Cancer Screening process in Spokane WAHere at NorthView Family Dental in Spokane, WA we care deeply for the oral health of our patients, which is why we conduct oral cancer screening in every examination we perform. Oral cancer is a very dangerous form of cancer, and also is quite easy to treat as long as it is caught in the early stages. Catching oral cancer in the formative stages is critical to the success of treatment, which is one of the reasons why we feel that it is so important for our patients to visit us once every six months. We will go over the signs, symptoms, and treatment of oral cancer, so that you know what to look for and can respond appropriately.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is a form of cancer that occurs around the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, palate, back of the throat, tonsils, and salivary glands. More common in men, oral cancer usually strikes those of at least 40 years of age. If oral cancer is not caught in the beginning stages, it often requires surgery to remove, or chemotherapy. Oral cancer has a high mortality rate, with a five-year survival rate of roughly 50 percent. One of the biggest reasons for this high mortality rate is oral cancer is often not detected or diagnosed until it has progressed into the later stages.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

To avoid oral cancer progressing into the later stages, it helps to understand what it looks and feels like, so you can help be part of the detection process. When you detect any of the following signs or symptoms, call us up at (509) 590-1763 and schedule an examination.

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of oral cancer are:
•  A lump or thickening of the cheek that you can feel with your tongue or a finger
•  Recurring sores that never seem to heal fully
•  Loss of feeling or numbness in a portion of your mouth
•  Red or white patches in the soft-tissues of the mouth
•  Difficulty swallowing or chewing food
•  Unexplainable soreness or pain in your mouth
•  Change in the sound of your voice
•  Changes in the way that your teeth fit together
•  Loose teeth

Anytime you notice a significant change in your mouth it’s not a bad idea to make us aware of it, as it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Regular Dental Checkups

One of the reasons we always suggest that our patients come in once every six months for regular cleaning and examination is so that we can check for signs and symptoms of oral cancer. We take x-rays once a year, which helps us to see issues that may arise in your mouth that aren’t visible because they develop under tissues or in the bone of your jaw. Dr. Leale does a thorough visual inspection of your mouth, checking for issues that look like oral cancer and other common oral health conditions.

Call us today at (509) 590-1763 to schedule your appointment.
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