Cancer awareness is a big part of our culture these days, and knowing its signs and symptoms can help save your life. Oral cancer, however, can be difficult to detect in its early stages. That's why Dr. Jeffrey Pike, your dentist in Scarsdale, NY, offers oral cancer screenings as part of your regular dental checkups. It's a quick and painless examination that only takes a few minutes. Below, The Scarsdale Dentist has outlined some of the symptoms that could indicate oral cancer or precancerous conditions are developing.
What does oral cancer look like in the early stages?
Early signs of oral cancer can be very subtle. It's typically painless and often flat, appearing as a reddened or whitish area on the inside of the cheeks, under the tongue, on the roof of the mouth or even in the throat. These patches are persistent and do not heal within a week or two like normal lesions. There may be a bump or the skin may feel thickened. It's important to remember that many other benign, or non-cancerous, conditions can cause similar symptoms, so contacting your Scarsdale dentist for an evaluation is essential not only for early diagnosis, but for your peace of mind as well.
What causes oral cancer?
Like many other cancers, the exact causes of oral cancer aren't well understood. However, there are certain factors that increase your risk. As you can probably guess, oral cancer is much more likely for people with a history of smoking or usage of other tobacco products, especially those that are designed to be held in the mouth for long periods of time. Long-term alcohol use can also increase the likelihood of developing oral cancer.
To schedule an oral cancer screening at The Scarsdale Dentist, or for any other questions, contact Dr. Jeffrey Pike's office in Scarsdale, NY today!