While there’s no doubt that the word “cancer” is frightening for most people, the truth is that this disease is often treatable if caught in the early stages. The same holds true for oral cancer. Patients may experience symptoms of oral cancer – such as those described below – but it’s also possible for a patient to experience no symptoms whatsoever. This is why oral cancer screening is so important, and why Dr. Baines includes it as part of his oral exams for his patients in the Austin, TX, area.
Why Oral Cancer Screening Is Needed
Generally speaking, there are three categories of symptoms that might indicate the presence of oral cancer or a pre-cancerous condition:
- Red patches and/or sores, and white or pink patches that fail to heal and bleed easily
- Leukoplakia, which is a white or gray, lightly raised lesion
- Lumps and soreness, or the thickening of tissue in the throat or mouth
These symptoms are obvious indicators of possible problems, but often oral cancer is present without any symptoms whatsoever, which is why oral cancer screening should be a part of a patient’s dental exam. As is the case with many other forms of cancer, early detection is extremely helpful in treating the condition.
Treatment and Prevention
Treatment of oral cancer or pre-cancerous areas vary greatly from one patient to the next, and may include a biopsy, excision, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. If caught in the early stages, treatment can be very effective.
Of course, the most effective treatment of all is to not develop the condition to begin with. An estimated 75% of all oral cancers are caused by habits like smoking, tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption. Dr. Baines can provide additional information regarding how you can modify your lifestyle to lessen your chances of developing this condition.
Call Our Office Today
For more information about oral cancer, or to schedule a routine oral exam that will include screening, call our office today. We are pleased to serve patients from throughout the Austin, TX, area, and we would be happy to welcome you to our patient family.