Schedule Your Oral Cancer Screening at Our Edmonton Dental Clinic
According to Health Canada, oral cancer is the 13th most common form of reported cancers in Canada. Defined as any atypical growth or spread of cells in the mouth cavity, oral cancer survival rates are greatly affected by early detection of the disease. Regular check ups with your Strathcona Dental Clinic dentist include screening for oral cancer so it is vital to your health that you maintain a proper schedule.
Possible Signs of Oral Cancer
If you notice any of the following on your lips, cheeks, tongue or throat, you should book an appointment with Strathcona Dental right away:
- A lump, bumps or other changes of texture in your mouth.
- Lingering sores that do not heal.
- White or red patches that are persistent.
- Bleeding, swelling or numbness.
- Issues when swallowing.
- Changes to how things taste.
- Changes in sensation in your tongue.
While many of these symptoms can be caused by other complications, seeing your dentist immediately will be of great benefit to resolving problems.
Oral Cancer Risk Factors
As with any form of cancer, certain behaviours and predispositions are considered risk factors in developing oral cancer. The following may increase your risk:
- The use of tobacco products through smoking or chewing.
- Excessive alcohol intake.
- Family history of oral cancer.
- Leukoplakia (thick, whitish patches in the mouth) diagnosis in the past.
- Poor nutrition and general health care.
- Prolonged exposure of your lips to the sun.
Diagnosing Oral Cancer
Strathcona Dental Clinic takes a proactive approach with diagnosing oral cancer because the sooner the disease is detected, the better the odds of successful treatment. During your regular check ups / exams, we will be checking your mouth for any signs of changes in the soft tissues of your oral cavity and we will flag any abnormalities that require additional examination.
VELscope® is a specialized device that uses blue light to light up healthy tissues and make unhealthy tissues appear dark. Known as fluorescence, this technology is an excellent screening tool. If unhealthy tissue is found, additional imaging, a tissue biopsy or a referral to a medical doctor may be required.
Oral Cancer Treatment
Treatment plans are determined on a case-by-case basis but may include:
- Surgery / procedures to remove tumours or affected tissue
Your Strathcona Dental Clinic team of experts cannot stress enough the importance of regular check ups and proactive care in the prevention of oral cancer. Contact us today to make your appointment.
**If you're nervous about going to the dentist—new ways of doing things have made modern dentistry more comfortable for patients, and talking to your dentist may reassure you and help you feel more relaxed. Ask us about Sedation Dentistry.