Highland Park (847) 432-1111 2685 Waukegan Ave, Highland Park, IL 60035
Northbrook (847) 498-4415 450 Skokie Blvd. 101, Northbrook, IL 60062
Mundelein (847) 566-5100 444 N Prospect Ave, Mundelein, IL 60060
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Is Oral Cancer Screening Necessary?

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, which means now’s the time to schedule an oral cancer screening for you and your loved ones. The American Joint Committee on Cancer projects that about 53,000 new cases of oral cancer emerge each year.

Do your part to protect your oral health. Don’t forget to schedule a dental visit for a proper oral cancer screening at least once per year.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer refers to the various cancers that affect the mouth, back of throat, lips, tongue, and gums. Common symptoms of oral cancer include

  • Red or white patches in the mouth

  • Sores on the gums, lips, or throat

  • Difficulty chewing, eating, or speaking

  • Difficulty moving your jaw

  • Jaw swelling

  • Facial disfigurement or difficulties

  • Sore throat

  • Oral cavities

  • Numbness on the tongue or around the mouth

  • Ear pain

You should schedule an oral cancer screening immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Should You Get an Oral Cancer Screening?

Everyone should receive an oral cancer screening to ensure proper oral health and peace of mind. At North Suburban Dental, we offer oral cancer screenings using advanced medical technology and techniques to provide a thorough diagnosis.

Although everyone should receive this type of cancer screening, the biggest risk factors include

  • Men over 40

  • Tobacco users

  • Frequent drinkers

  • UV light exposure

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection

Those who are susceptible to oral cancer suffer long-term problems. Early detection is vital to prevent death rates associated with oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Staging

If you were recently diagnosed, doctors will ascertain the development of the cancer through stages. Oral cancer staging determines how fast the cancer spreads and how best to treat it. The earliest stage is 0, in which the cancer is present but has not significantly spread. Then, it ranges from I to IV, with the higher stages indicating cancer has spread more and will be difficult to treat.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons will use surgery to remove part of the tumor and evaluate the diagnosis, known as the surgical stage. Afterward, during the clinical stage, they will review proper treatment plans.

How Fast Does Oral Cancer Spread?

Everyone’s cancer experience is unique, so there is no definite amount of time cancer spreads depending on the person and the size of the primary tumor. Most oral cancers are known as squamous cell carcinomas, which spreads quickly.

Typically, if you have a moderate amount of oral cancer present, there is a 20 to 30 percent chance it has spread to the lymph nodes in the neck at the time of diagnosis. Spread can fasten if you continue to use tobacco products or drink alcohol.

Schedule a Screening Today!

Call North Suburban Dental at 847-432-1111 to schedule your oral cancer screening. We specialize in pediatric, family, and general dentistry to ensure your oral health remains in good condition. There’s never a wrong time to get an oral cancer screening, so visit us as soon as possible to stay safe and healthy.

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