It is estimated by the American cancer society that there are over 30 000 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed every year. Over 7000 of those cases result in death. Oral cancer can be treated rather effectively if it is diagnosed and treated early on. This can be done through an annual cancer examination that we can administer at Martindale Dental.
Oral cancer can be difficult to recognize without an examination because it is pathologic, meaning it does not have any early on symptoms. Types of oral cancer include, melanoma, adenocarcinoma, and teratoma. The cancer that is found most commonly in the mouth generally starts in the mouth and lip tissue, and is referred to as malignant squamous cell carcinoma. Oral cancer can also occur in the throat, gums, salivary glands, tongue and face.
What can be expected?
The examination for oral cancer involves absolutely no pain. Our dental professionals will examine your face glands and neck for any abnormal bumps or growths. There may be lasers used to pinpoint pathologic changes. This gives us the ability to look further into the skin and find any lesions that normally are not visible. Any red spots or sores will be investigated to look for signs of oral cancer. Red spots on the bottom of the mouth or the front of the tongue can be signs of oral cancer as well. So can sores that bleed and are unable to heal. If there is a hardened gray or white raised lesion on the inside of the mouth, this can be cancerous and is known as leukoplakia. This will also be examined and investigated. Any sores or lumps or thickened tissue in the throat can be a sign of cancer as well.
If there is any suggestion that any of these cancerous indicators exist then we will find the best treatment options available for you. Treatment will be specifically tailored to your personalized needs. It can include options like, radiation therapy, excision, and chemotherapy, depending on the specific diagnosis.
It is also worth noting that the majority of oral cancers (75%) can be caused by easily avoidable habits like smoking tobacco or excessive consumption of alcohol. We have a wide variety of resources to help stop these potentially hazardous habits.
Martindale Dental provides both general and specialty dentistry under one roof. For more than 20 years, our dentists have been advocates for their patients oral health care needs. Our dental offices are conveniently located in Toronto, North York, St Catharines, North York, Burlington, Milton East and Milton West, Ontario. We offer convenient before & after work and weekend appointments.