Oral Cancer Screening
Rockwall & Paris, Texas
Every year, over 50,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with oral cancer, with cases ranging from mild to severe. Oral cancer can develop on the lips, gums, inner lining of the cheeks, throat, floor and roof of the mouth, and the tongue, and typically present as sores or growths. Oral cancer types include squamous cell carcinoma (most common), oral verrucous carcinoma, and oral melanoma. Although malignant cancers may start in one place, they often spread to other maxillofacial and oral regions, which causes serious secondary threats.
Oral cancer can be present and not present any symptoms, which is why it is important to schedule regular periodontal examinations. In addition to ensuring you maintain good oral health, these appointments also allow us to evaluate your overall health and look for any early indications of other issues, such as oral cancer. If you notice any of the following symptoms commonly associated with oral cancer, schedule an appointment as soon as possible:
- Mouth sores that do not heal
- Persistent mouth pain
- Unexplained oral bleeding
- Red or white patches on the gums, tongue, tonsil, and/or lining of the mouth
- Difficulty chewing/swallowing
- Unexplained weight loss
- Swelling of your neck, jaw, mouth, or face
- Lump or mass in neck or cheek
- Change in your voice
- Tongue numbness
- Difficulty moving jaw or tongue
As is true with most health issues, early detection of oral cancer is the best chance of having a positive outcome, with likelihood of survival as high as 90% among patients whose oral cancer is diagnosed and treated early. To learn more about oral cancer screenings or other services offered at our office, please refer to the following. To schedule an appointment for a deep teeth cleaning or scaling and root planing procedure, contact our Rockwall office today at (972) 771-8640 or our Paris office at (903) 785-4832.
If you receive a positive diagnosis for oral cancer, please know that we are committed to helping develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your unique needs, informed by your personal health history, and aligned with your specific treatment goals. There are several different treatment options for oral cancer. Which treatment option is best for you will largely depend on the exact location and extent of the cancer. We frequently refer to and work with our medical colleagues who specialize in treating head, neck and oral cancer.
- Surgical treatment: Depending on the location and severity of your oral cancer, it may be possible to correct the issue by removing the tumor. In certain cases, a resection may need to be performed, which involves removing part of the jawbone to remove the tumor.
- Radiation/Chemotherapy: More advanced cases of oral cancer may require radiation, chemotherapy, or both to shrink the tumor, either before or following surgery. If chemotherapy is part of your treatment plan, different chemotherapy drugs will be used to reduce the risk of developing a drug resistance.
- Targeted drug therapy: Uses targeted therapy drugs to interfere with the growth of cancer cells by binding specific proteins to them.
- Immunotherapy: Can prevent or eliminate cancer by using the power of the body’s immune system.
Oral Cancer Screening
Consultation & Process
Your oral cancer screening, which can be completed quickly and painlessly, will begin with an evaluation of your oral cavity and surrounding areas. We will be looking for any indications of abnormalities or unusual bumps. If any irregularities are identified, a biopsy will likely be necessary. The biopsy will either be excisional, which means the entire abnormal tissue will be removed, or incisional, where only part of the abnormal tissue is removed to be evaluated in a lab. Fortunately, most biopsies come back negative, however it is always best to err on the side of caution, as early detection and treatment are the most important factors to ensure a positive diagnosis. Once your biopsy results are in, we will inform you of your results immediately, and if necessary, discuss available treatment plans.
of Oral Cancer
Although oral cancer has traditionally been considered an issue that only affects smokers, other factors such as genetic predisposition, age, and lifestyle habits such as alcohol abuse or not practicing good oral hygiene can also increase an individual’s risk of developing oral cancer. In fact, nearly 80% of oral cancer cases can be linked to lifestyle habits, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and/or poor oral hygiene habits. Although avoiding these things will decrease your risk of developing oral cancer, there is no way to completely eliminate your risk, which is why it is so important to perform regular examinations at home and schedule regular periodontal exams, during which an oral cancer screening exam can be performed.
Oral Cancer Screening
The cost of your oral cancer screening will be included as part of your regular examination and will likely be covered for patients who have dental insurance. For patients who are covered under a dental insurance plan, although we are not in-network, we will gladly help prepare and file your claim to ensure you receive your maximum reimbursement. Payment is due in full on the day of treatment. We accept cash, check, Visa, Discover, Mastercard, and American Express.
If you are concerned about the cost of receiving treatment, please know that we offer our patients Compassionate Finance, which offers a variety of payment solutions with fixed interest rates and manageable monthly payments and CareCredit®, which offers 24-monty payment plans with zero interest, as well as low-interest financing for 24-60 months.