Shepperton dentists can help detect oral cancer
Oral cancer will usually first manifest itself as a sore or growth that won’t go away naturally. Oral cancer, which includes cancer of any part of the mouth or throat such as lips, cheek, hard and soft palates and tongue can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.
Men are twice as likely as women to get oral cancer with men over the age of 50 being particularly at risk. Factors that increase the risk of oral cancer include smoking, which can increase your chance of oral cancer by as much as 600 percent. Excessive consumption of alcohol can also increase your chances by a similar degree.
Other factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer include excessive exposure to sunlight and a family history of cancer. People who use smokeless tobacco products such as snuff, dip or chewing tobacco are a massive 50 times more likely to develop cancer of the cheek, lips or tongue. Although it is important to note that a quarter of people who contract oral cancer do not use tobacco products and only drink alcohol in moderation.
The symptoms or oral cancer include: unexplained bleeding in the mouth; the development of white or red patches in the mouth; difficulty chewing speaking or swallowing; swelling, lumps or eroded areas in the mouth; dramatic weight loss.
These are only some of the symptoms so it is always best to consult your dentist if you have any concerns. Your Shepperton dentist can conduct an oral cancer screening exam as part of your regular dental check-up and can perform a brush biopsy of any suspicious looking sores in the mouth. This test is completely painless and involves taking a small sample of tissue for analysis. Your Shepperton dentist will also be able to check for any tissue changes in your oral cavity, neck and head. If oral cancer is detected in its early stages patients have a greater than 80 percent chance of successful treatment.