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Oral Cancer Screening And Detection

Lane Dental

Robert E. Lane, DMD, PA

Cosmetic & General Dentist located in Boca Raton, FL

Oral cancer can show up as a small sore in your mouth that gradually becomes much worse. Early diagnosis and treatment will give you the best possible outcome, and potentially save your life. Robert E. Lane DMD, PA is pleased to provide effective diagnostic and treatment options, including laser options, for patients with oral cancer in Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Deerfield Beach, Florida. To book an appointment, contact Lane Dental.

Oral Cancer Screening and Detection Q & A

What is oral cancer?

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.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

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:

  • Bleeding in the mouth
  • Changes in the way your dentures or teeth fit together
  • Difficulty chewing, moving the jaw or tongue, speaking, or swallowing
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Ear pain
  • Feeling as though something is stuck in the back of the throat
  • Eroded areas, lumps or bumps, rough patches, swelling, or thickening on areas inside the mouth
  • Hoarseness, other voice changes, or chronic sore throat
  • Numbness, pain, or tenderness in the face, mouth, or neck
  • White, red, or speckled patches in the mouth
  • Sores on the face, neck, or mouth that easily bleed and last longer than two weeks

What causes oral cancer?

Most anyone can get oral cancer, but your risk is increased if you:

  • Are male, especially over age 50
  • Drink excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Have excessive UV-ray exposure, especially early in life
  • Have family history of cancer
  • Have the human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Use smokeless tobacco

How is oral cancer diagnosed?

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.

How is oral cancer treated?

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.