Info About Oral Cancer
What Is Oral Cancer?
Cancers start when cells in the body start to grow out of control. They can occur almost anywhere and the mouth is no exception. Oral cavity cancer and oropharyngeal cancer starts in the mouth or throat. While cancers may develop for a variety of reasons, most frequently, they are the result of consistent tobacco use including smoking cigarettes, smoking cigars, and chewing tobacco leaf. If you use tobacco, it’s even more important that you schedule regular oral cancer screenings.
The oral cavity includes your lips, the inside lining of the cheeks, teeth, gums, the front two-thirds of the tongue, the floor of the mouth, the roof of the mouth, and the area behind your wisdom teeth. The oropharynx is the middle part of the throat just behind the oral cavity. It includes the base of the tongue, soft palate, tonsils, and walls of the throat.
Most oral cancers are known as squamous cell carcinomas. These cancers start in squamous cells in the lining of the mouth and throat. The earliest form of squamous cell cancer is called carcinoma in situ. This means that the cancer cells are only in the layer of cells lining the oral cavity and oropharynx.
How Frequently Should I Get An Oral Cancer Screening?
The American Cancer Society recommends patients receive oral cancer screenings every 3 years if they’re between the ages of 20-40. However, once you reach the age of 40, it’s best to book oral cancer screenings on an annual basis.
What’s Involved in an Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer screenings are an examination performed by your City Dental Centers dentist in order to look for signs of cancer and identify related or causal conditions in your mouth. The goal of oral cancer screening is to identify mouth cancer early when there is a greater chance to stop it from spreading or eliminate it completely.
If you need to schedule an oral cancer screening or you’re worried about cancer of the mouth, please contact City Dental Centers for more information.