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Oral Cancer Screening

 

If you use tobacco, drink alcohol, or have a family history of oral cancer, it’s crucial to undergo oral cancer screening. This quick, outpatient procedure can catch oral cancer early on and determine the best type of treatment. At Aesthetic Dentistry of Noe Valley in San Francisco, California, cosmetic and general dentists Aref Natour, DDS, Nisha Krishnaiah, DDS, and the team offer oral cancer screening to adults. Call the office to request oral cancer screening today or book online.

What is oral cancer screening?

Oral cancer develops in the tissues of your mouth or throat. It causes the cells in your tongue, lips, or gums to replicate out of control, causing tumors or other abnormal growths. 

Learning you have oral cancer can be frightening, but various treatments can stop the disease from spreading and reduce your risk of potentially severe complications.

Who should consider an oral cancer screening?

Schedule oral cancer screening at Aesthetic Dentistry of Noe Valley if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • A sore on your lip or mouth that won’t heal
  • Loose teeth
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • Trouble wearing dentures
  • A sore throat that doesn’t get better
  • Tongue pain
  • Jaw pain or stiffness

You should also request oral cancer screening if you have an earache or a lump in your throat that doesn’t go away.

Who is at risk of oral cancer?

Oral cancer affects people of all ages and backgrounds, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Poor nutrition
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • A family history of oral cancer (or other cancers)
  • Genetic syndromes
  • Being male

Lifestyle factors can also play a role. For example, you’re more likely to develop oral cancer if you use tobacco or drink excessive amounts of alcohol.

What happens during oral cancer screening?

Your Aesthetic Dentistry of Noe Valley provider reviews your dental records and completes an oral exam. They check the roof and the floor of your mouth, the back of your throat, and your tongue, cheeks, and lymph nodes, looking for swelling, redness, or sores. 

If your provider notices anything unusual, such as a tumor or cyst, they collect a biopsy sample and send it to a lab for testing. Techs at the lab review your tissue sample for the presence of precancerous or cancerous cells. 

Your provider might also order diagnostic imaging, like X-rays or CT scans. These techniques can determine if there are cancerous cells in your jaw, chest, neck, or lungs.

What if the results of my oral cancer screening come back positive?

If the results of your oral cancer screening are positive, the Aesthetic Dentistry of Noe Valley team develops a custom treatment plan. They might recommend surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or targeted therapy, depending on the type and stage of cancer.

Call Aesthetic Dentistry of Noe Valley to schedule oral cancer screening today, or book online.

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