Oral Cancer

The Importance of the Oral Cancer Exam


Oral cancer is diagnosed in 30,000 people every year. Out of these, 8,000 will die. If oral cancer is detected early, it has a high cure rate. However, once it grows undetected more that 1 centimeter in size it has a poor prognosis. This is why it is important to have regular dental check ups. It may not only save your teeth - It may save your life! Here are the most common warning signs of oral cancer:

• Pain, tenderness, or numbness in your mouth for no apparent reason

• A lump, crust, ulceration, or rough spot that persists more that two weeks

• Red or white colored sores or patches in your mouth

• Trouble chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your tongue or jaw

If we detect a suspicious sore or lesion, we have a new test we can use called ORALCDX . This is a painless and easy brush biopsy test that Dr.MacKnight can do without delay. He simply brushes the cells from the suspicious site and puts them on a special microscope slide. The slide is sent to a lab where an elaborate computer reads it and notifies us if there are any cancerous or pre-cancerous cells. The most common risk factors in oral cancer are tobacco use (including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, and snuff) and alcohol. However, you can get a cancerous lesion even without a history of these. Please call our office if you haven't been checked lately. It could save your life! 


Oral CDX