Oral cancer is a disease where the overgrowth of cells invades healthy tissue and causes damage. It can spread to the cheeks, lips, floor of the mouth, tongue, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and throat.
Oral cancer usually shows up as a growth or sore in the mouth. While non-cancerous mouth sores are common and often heal on their own, these sores tend to linger. Other symptoms may include:
Most anyone can get oral cancer, but your risk is increased if you:
Dr. Lane conducts screenings for the disease, looking for unusual lumps, bumps or sores, as part of routine cleanings. If he notices potential signs, he may use the VELscope® Vx Enhanced Oral System, a laser device, to have a better look or to remove cells from the area for a biopsy. This handheld, wireless tool uses natural tissue fluorescence to analyze oral tissue far more effectively than the naked eye allows.
Oral cancer is initially treated with surgery to remove cancerous growths, followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. Laser dentistry may be used to shrink or destroy cancerous lesions – on its own or along with chemotherapy or radiation treatment – for cancers of the head or neck. If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, Dr. Lane will help you determine the best course of treatment.
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