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Oral Cancer Screenings in Austin, TX

man holding his jaw in pain

There are many good reasons to visit Rigby Advanced Dental twice a year for regular cleanings and exams. One of those reasons is the thorough oral cancer screening that accompanies your exam. Signs of oral cancer are not usually obvious to the average individual but Drs. Mike and Mark Shalaby are trained to detect oral cancer and have special equipment that allows them to see anything suspicious in your mouth that might require oral cancer treatment. Oral cancer is highly treatable when caught in the early stages.

What are the signs and symptoms of oral cancer?

Oral cancer symptoms are not very noticeable when the cancer is in its earliest stages. Our dentists use a special light that allows them to see abnormalities that are not visible to the naked eye. Other than avoiding harmful substances, like alcohol and tobacco, that increase your risk of oral cancer, you can't really do anything for oral cancer prevention. However, there are some signs that indicate you might have mouth cancer.

  • Trouble moving your tongue around
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness in your voice
  • Bleeding or sores in your mouth that refuse to heal
  • Persistent pain in and/or near your mouth
  • A lump or swelling in your mouth
  • A lump, swelling or persistent pain in your jaw
  • A loss of feeling in the mouth, face or neck
  • Dentures that no longer fit properly

Who should have an oral cancer screening?

Everyone should be checked at least yearly to be on the safe side. Some people are more prone to cancer than others so if you are in the risk groups, it is even more important to get screened regularly. Men are more than twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer and it is even more prevalent in Hispanic and African American men. Rates increase after age 50 and the peak ages for oral cancer are between ages 60 and 70. It's difficult to pinpoint oral cancer causes but your risks are greater if you have a history of oral cancer in your family, are a tobacco user or heavy alcohol drinker, or have had a lot of sun exposure to your lips.

How is oral cancer treated?

The treatment for oral cancer will depend on the type and severity of the cancer. An oral cancer dentist may treat cancer in its earliest stages with surgery. A medical doctor will treat cases that require radiation or chemotherapy.

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