Early detection is key.
Like most cancers, the earlier mouth cancer is detected, the simpler the treatment for it is. Many patients who have seen Dr. Bassett and had early detection of oral cancer go through a simple removal of the lesion and require no further treatment beyond the standard six-month dental exams.
Oral cancer is becoming more and more common, mostly due to its strong connection to the human papillomavirus (HPV). Anyone is at risk for developing it. If a dentist is not doing an oral cancer check for you, you are not receiving a complete exam.
- Tobacco use from chewing tobacco, cigarettes, or cigars
- Heavy or prolonged alcohol use
- Previous oral cancer
- Presence of HPV or other viruses
Signs of oral cancer include a feeling of pressure in the mouth, and new and unusual sores that are red or white. Often, oral cancer is impossible to notice without a thorough dental exam. If a suspicious lesion or sore is found, Dr. Bassett will want to schedule a follow-up visit to see if the lesion changes. You might also require a biopsy to determine if the area is cancerous or not. If anything comes back as cancerous, you will be referred to a specialist for treatment. Oral cancer has an extremely good prognosis if treated early.