Early Diagnosis and Treatment is Important
Oral cancer is seldom fatal if it is detected and treated early. This emphasizes the importance of regular visits to your Placerville dentists for routine maintenance of your dental health and examinations for oral cancer or benign cysts. If you notice any of the following symptoms anywhere in your mouth, you should schedule an appointment with the Placerville Dental Group immediately!
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
- a sore that does not heal or that bleeds;
- a lump, thickening or damaged area in your mouth;
- a red or white spot that you recently noticed;
- pain, swelling, numbness or tenderness in the mouth or lips;
- problems swallowing or chewing.
While other problems may cause some of the above symptoms, they are all indicators of a serious dental health issue and should be dealt with immediately. While regular smoking and alcohol use contribute to oral cancer, one in four patients have no history of using these substances. Patients over the age of forty are especially susceptible to oral cancer and should be particularly vigilant for early signs of disease.
Treatment of Oral Cancer
The first step is to determine if the lesion is actually cancerous. This can be done with an initial brush biopsy or a full biopsy. The brush biopsy, or brush test, is less invasive, simply involving collecting some cells from the area for analysis. A positive identification requires a full tissue biopsy. Treatment varies based on the diagnosis, but our Placerville dentists work along with your medical doctor, forming a plan of attack to defeat the disease as safely and efficiently as possible.