At Caring Dentistry of Queens, we perform routine screenings to check for signs of mouth cancer.
On average, about 50,000 Americans go undiagnosed with oral cancer each year. The truth is, early detection saves lives. Therefore, the sooner the disease is discovered, the greater the chance of survival.
Your dentist in Richmond Hill, NY will check for signs of cancer during your regularly scheduled visits. So, there is no need to make an extra appointment unless it is advised. In some cases, additional tests may be ordered if deemed necessary.
Some signs your dentist will look for are white patches or sores in the mouth or lips. If any areas give your dentist a cause for concern, a biopsy will be ordered. During a biopsy, the affected tissue is removed and sent to an outside lab. This analysis determines whether cancer is present. It can also show the probability of mouth cancer in the future.
If cancer is present in your oral cavity, your Richmond Hill, NY dentist will then determine the stage of the disease. Several tests will be performed, including an endoscopy. During this test, an intraoral camera is used to examine the throat. This is done to see if cancer has spread to other areas. MRI, CT, and X-rays can create images to also check for the spread of the disease. Any tests ordered will depend on the stage.
The stages of mouth cancer are from I to IV. The first stage is the most treatable form. The goal is to catch the condition at stage I and nip it in the bud. By the time the disease has progressed to stage IV, the cancer has spread. Your Richmond Hill, NY dentist will create a treatment plan based on this information.
As with most advanced-stage cancers, treatment typically involves surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Surgery can be scheduled to remove tumors, for cancer that has spread to the neck and any reconstructive procedures. Radiation therapy is the use of high energy beams to attack cancerous cells. Chemotherapy uses chemicals to destroy the disease.
With regular cancer screenings, your dentist can look for signs of trouble and treat the condition before the problem becomes a major health threat.