Oral Cancer Exam
What is an oral cancer exam?
According to the American Cancer Society, over 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year, with over 7000 of these cases resulting in the death of the patient. Fortunately, periodic oral cancer examinations provided by Dr. Culberson can assist in early detection or timely treatment. If caught early, a high percentage of oral cancers can be effectively treated.
Oral cancer is a pathologic process. Many cases produce no symptoms, making it hard to recognize without an examination. There are many types of oral cancer, including squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma and melanoma. The most common form of oral cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, can originate in quite a few areas of the mouth – the floor of the mouth, gums, tongue, lip, salivary glands and throat.
How is it accomplished?
An oral cancer examination is typically painless. Following a review of the patient’s medical and dental histories, Dr. Culberson will look for abnormalities and feel the face, glands, and neck for unusual bumps. Some suspicious signs include red or white patches, nonhealing, fixed and hardened ulcerations.
If any abnormalities are detected, Dr. Culberson will implement a treatment plan that is right for you. This may include close monitoring, biopsy or referral to another specialist, such as an otolaryngologist.
It is also important to note that over 75% of oral cancers are linked with avoidable behaviors such as smoking, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption. Dr. Culberson can provide you with further information and suggest strategies for quitting these associated behaviors.