Shedding Light on Oral Cancer Screening: Why It’s Crucial for Your Health

Dr. Kale Eckland constantly emphasizes the importance of routine oral cancer exams. Approximately 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Shockingly, the five-year survival rate is only around 60%! Good news! When detected early, the survival rate of mouth cancer can increase significantly.

Eckland Family Dental offers regular mouth cancer screenings to arrest your cancer early before it metastasizes or spreads to other body parts. If you haven’t been screened for mouth cancer in Everett or Redmond, Washington, schedule an appointment today with our team. Rest assured, our screening process is quick, painless, and efficient, ensuring your peace of mind and proactive care.

Symptoms of oral cancer

Oral cancer commonly manifests in the lips, gums, tongue, and mouth palate, although it can affect any part of the mouth. This cancer can be life-threatening when not detected early; that’s why routine screenings are vital. 

The common symptoms of oral cancer include: 

  • A persistent mouth sore
  • Unexplained mouth bleeding
  • Red or white patches in the mouth lining
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Lumps, bumps, or eroded areas in your lips and other parts
  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Chronic sore throat or voice hoarseness

If you have the above symptoms, don’t panic! They don’t necessarily mean you have mouth cancer. It is always a good idea to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis, even if you feel fine. Better safe than sorry.  

What to expect from oral cancer screening

A mouth cancer exam is a quick and painless procedure. Best of all, you don’t need to schedule a different appointment because it’s done during your routine dental check-up.

Before the procedure, your dentist will ask you to remove any removable appliances (like dentures or Invisalign aligners) to have a clear view of your oral structures. The dentist visually inspects your mouth for signs of patches, lumps, lesions, sores, and other irregularities.

While some signs are visible with the naked eye, we employ specialized tools to allow for thorough scrutiny, even in hard-to-reach areas, ensuring a comprehensive assessment of your oral health.

The dentist also uses gloved hands to check your jaws, neck, and throat for lumps, bumps, and other abnormal masses in your mouth. Should we notice any signs of concern, we can use special dyes and lights to separate abnormal tissues from healthy ones. Should we suspect cancer or pre-cancerous lesions, we’ll refer you to a specialist for a biopsy. 

Oral cancer screening near me

Ready to prioritize your oral health with a comprehensive mouth cancer screening? Schedule your appointment today at Eckland Family Dental. Contact us at (425) 448-6339 for the Redmond office or (425) 249-3830 for the Everett office to reserve your appointment.