Early detection of oral cancer offers the best chance of treatment. Studies have shown that only half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years.
Oral cancer often starts as tiny, unnoticed white or red spots or sores in the mouth. We utilize the Velscope during oral cancer screening. Utilizing the Velscope we carefully examine your mouth and tongue for unusual spots or sores. Although most of these spots are harmless, some of these are not. If a lesion appears different on a Velscope exam, additional testing may be necessary. A simple test, such as a brush test, collects cells from your mouth for analysis. If precancerous cells are found, treatment may include surgical removal of the lesion.
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
- A color change of your gums
- A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
- A change in the way the teeth fit together
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use combined with smoking
- Prolonged exposure to the sun (lip cancer)
- If you are over the age of 40
- Reduce or stop tobacco use
- Reduce or stop alcohol use, especially if combined with smoking
- Reduce sun exposure, or use a high SPF sunscreen
- Have a diet high in fruits and vegetables