Oral cancer is a disease that is highly treatable if caught early enough. When you come to visit us for a routine cleaning, one thing we always do is take a look at the soft tissue in your mouth to see if we can see any obvious signs of a developing cancerous area.
Still, given that cleanings are 6 months apart, you probably want to know what to look for at home, so you can be sure to routinely check for oral cancer.
Looking for Oral Cancer at Home
While there is no one sign of cancer, there are a few common issues you may see if you are developing a cancerous mass. By keeping an eye out for these common signs, you can help protect your health.
Look for a painless lump anywhere in the oral cavity. This could be on the gum, in the cheek tissue, or even on the lip. While some lumps will come and go for a number of reasons, if you have one that sticks around, you might want to have us take a look.
Another common sign is a sore that just won't heal. We all develop sores in the mouth from time to time. Given the delicacy of the oral tissue, it is pretty much inevitable. However, if you find a sore that won't heal-and you know that you are not constantly re-injuring it-you should come see us as soon as you can. It might be cancer, and we'll want to see it.
Another common feature of cancer is a red or white patch on the cheek, gum, or palate. This patch may be slightly raised or it may be flat. It may bleed-but it won't necessarily do so. If you see anything like this, come see us as soon as you can.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 503-662-8744 today.