Oral Cancer Screening in San Antonio
You absolutely need to get checked for oral cancer symptoms; fortunately, Wurzbach Parkway Family Dental offers oral cancer screening procedures and oncology in San Antonio so you can do precisely that.
In 2010, an estimated 37,000 people were diagnosed with oral cancer. Though this horrible disease can be fatal, when found in the early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate. But, the majority of cases are found later on and result in a high death rate of 45 percent at five years from diagnosis.
Contact Wurzbach Parkway Family Dental to set up an appointment for your next oral cancer screening.
Learn More About Oral Cancer
As we mentioned, if oral cancer goes unchecked, it can end up being incredibly detrimental to your health as a whole. As such, it’s easy to believe that it may be difficult to catch; after all, most go a long time without realizing they’ve contracted the disease. In reality, however, Oral cancer symptoms are easy to spot, and at Wurzbach Parkway Family Dental and oncology in San Antonio, we can make sure those symptoms are spotted early on enough for treatment.
Symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or lips
- Problems wearing dentures
- Lump on your neck
- Color change of oral tissue
- Tiny, white or red spots or sores anywhere in the mouth
- A sore that won’t heal in your mouth
- Mouth bleeding
- Loose teeth
- Difficulty when swallowing
Regular check-ups of the mouth are important to detect cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. The dentist will inspect the entire mouth and tongue for small, white or red spots or sores. Harmful spots can look the same as those that are not harmless. To determine if a spot is harmful during an oral cancer screening, the dentist will use a brush test to collect cells. These are sent to a lab for further analysis.
Like many other cancers, oral cancer is treated in three primary ways: radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and oral surgery. Here is a quick breakdown of what you can expect from each:
Surgery: This is the most common treatment for those with oral cancer. If the cancer has spread or if your physician fears that it might, the lymph nodes in the neck may also be removed.
Radiation therapy: The use of high-energy rays to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing. It only affects the cells in the treated area. If the tumors are larger, surgery and radiation therapy will be needed.
Chemotherapy: the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells. The treatment is usually used in combination with radiation therapy and surgery for extensive cancers.
Each of these procedures can be taxing, but fortunately, if you are in need of oncology or oral surgeon, we can help set you up with the best oral surgeons in San Antonio.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products.
- Only drink alcohol in moderation.
- If you are exposed to the sun, protect yourself with sunscreen and lip balm.
- Don’t wear ill-fitting dentures that may cause oral irritation.
- Eat a balanced diet and make sure you get all the vitamins you need.
Just remember: Your chances are increased for developing oral cancer if you use tobacco, alcohol, and those who smoke and drink simultaneously increase their risk of cancer dramatically. Also, sun exposure can lead to lip cancer, and those who have had head and neck cancer have a higher risk of developing oral cancer. Knowing that, it’s important you live healthily and get consistent checkups if you do not. Keep this in mind when determining whether or not you need an oral cancer screening from our oncology specialist in San Antonio.