Oral cancer is a serious but often overlooked condition that affects thousands of Americans yearly. In fact, this type of cancer results in about 8,000 yearly deaths nationwide. The key to treating oral cancer is detecting it early – before it has a chance to spread and become severe. At Kevin Spees Dentistry, we want to protect our patients from such a serious disease, which is why we perform oral cancer screenings for all of our patients.
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
People can exhibit many signs and symptoms of oral cancer which is why Dr. Spees will educate you about them. Oral cancer includes cancer in the lips, tongue, cheeks, throat, hard palate, soft palate, and mouth floor. Because oral cancer can be found in so many places, it is essential to be aware of any abnormalities.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment with Dr. Spees right away. Finding oral cancer at an early stage is the key to effectively treating it. Symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Sores in the mouth that do not heal
- Lumps on the lip, mouth, or throat
- Loss of feeling in the face, neck, or mouth
- Red, white, or speckled patches in the mouth
- Unusual bleeding or numbness
- Difficulty swallowing and chewing
- Swelling in the neck
How often do you check for oral cancer?
Sometimes symptoms are hard to detect or are shrugged off as nothing to worry about. That is why Dr. Spees and our professional hygienist staff always perform oral cancer screenings during first visits and regular check-ups.
During a check-up, your hygienist will use a small, state-of-the-art VELscope device to check for unusual sores or spots in the mouth. This device allows our staff to detect signs of cancer significantly earlier than traditional techniques. The best part? The VELscope is painless.
What should I do if I have oral cancer symptoms?
If you are experiencing any unusual symptoms, contact your dentist and schedule an appointment right away. Dr. Spees will perform a complete examination to look for signs of cancer. Similar to the regular checkup, a VELscope will be used to detect any abnormalities.
If you have more questions about oral cancer and the signs and symptoms, contact us at one of our two convenient offices. Our Zionsville location can be reached at 317-873-2206, and our Lebanon location can be reached at 765-482-6672. We will be happy to schedule a consultation with you to discuss any concerns and treatment options.