In the United States alone, one adult dies every hour from oral cancers. When oral cancers are identified in initial stages, treatment can begin more quickly. In initial stages, treatment has a higher rate of success and is less invasive. In more advanced stages, oral cancers are more likely to have spread to other areas and need complex treatment.
Dr. Potempa recommends having an oral cancer screening at least once each year. Regular screenings can help ensure early detection of any potential cancers.
During your oral cancer screening, Dr. Potempa will check for any abnormalities. We will closely examine your mouth, throat, lips, gums, and tongue. Let us know about any potential symptoms you have experienced, including:
- Pain or difficulty with speaking, swallowing, or moving your jaw or tongue
- A sensation that something is caught in the back of your throat
- Sore throat with no other sinus symptoms
- Lumps or swellings in or around your mouth
- Drastic weight loss
- White or red patches in your mouth
- Mouth sores that do not heal
- Unexplained ear pain
- Unexplained bleeding in your mouth
If you have experienced any of these symptoms for more than a week without improvement, call us immediately for an appointment.
Anyone may develop oral cancer, but there are certain factors that can increase your risks. Some of the most common include:
- Being male (men are more likely to develop oral cancer than women)
- Use of tobacco in any form (6 times more likely)
- Genetic predisposition for oral cancers
- Excessive or prolonged exposure to sun
- Unhealthy diet
- Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Having gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
For more information on oral cancer screenings or to schedule an appointment, contact Gregory Potempa, DDS, FAGD, Ltd.