Oral Cancer Screening in Orland Park, SOUTH LOOP,
MIDWAY & Oak Lawn
In our Chicago area offices, oral cancer screening is both a physical exam and a visual exam that our doctors use to detect mouth cancer as early as possible.
Benefits of Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screenings help us to detect oral cancer early which makes treatment much more comfortable. Oral cancer screening at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Chicago is:
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Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Before your exam, we will ask you if you’ve had any changes to your oral health and medical history. New and unusual symptoms around the lips or mouth, such as the following, may indicate an early stage of oral cancer:
- Red or white patches
- Tenderness or numbness
- Pain that doesn’t go away
- Bad breath
- Weight loss
What to Expect During the Visual Exam
As we begin a visual evaluation of your mouth and lips, we’ll ask you to take out all removable dental appliances, such as dentures and bridges, so that every oral area is exposed. We then examine inside your mouth and your lips, face, nose, and neck for any abnormalities. We look for bumps, patches of color, unusual asymmetries, and ulcerations. We use a mirror and light when assessing your mouth and nose to get the best view possible. If necessary, we use other tools when examining the roof of your mouth, tonsils, cheeks, throat, and under your tongue.
What to Expect During the Physical Exam
In addition to visually evaluating your oral cavity and surrounding anatomy, we touch your head, chin, cheeks and jaw, feeling for abnormal masses or nodules. If we detect immobility in a mobile tissue, this signals a potential issue. We’ll ask if there is any discomfort, and if there is not, it could be a sign of a problem elsewhere. We may recommend further testing to help determine the cause of certain symptoms. Additional testing would help us determine an accurate diagnosis and rule out oral cancer. We welcome any questions you may have at any time during the examination.
Factors that Increase Chances of Oral Cancer:
- Excess sun exposure to lips
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Tobacco and heavy alcohol use
Is it easy to spot oral cancer?
No. In fact, it can be hard to see throat or mouth cancer that is at the base of your tongue, lymph nodes, or tonsils. We advise you look for signs, such as difficulty swallowing and hoarseness, and come in for an evaluation if you suspect an issue.
Can young people get oral cancer?
Yes. Despite that fact that oral cancer is most often found in patients over 50 since it takes time to develop, young people are at risk as well because of the increase in HPV cases. Getting an HPV vaccine reduces your chances for an HPV infection and risk of getting mouth and throat cancer.
Since I don’t use tobacco or smoke, am I exempt from getting oral cancer?
It’s true that tobacco and alcohol users are at a greater risk of developing oral cancer, but everyone is susceptible. Genetics also plays a part in developing oral cancer.
How can I prevent getting oral cancer?
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables, quitting smoking, getting the HPV vaccine, and establishing good oral hygiene habits can all contribute to the prevention of oral cancer.