Protect your health with oral cancer screening in Manhattan and Brooklyn, NY
Oral cancer is a serious, often life-threatening disease, but an early diagnosis can greatly improve your outcome. The dental team at TriBeCa Dental Associates offers oral cancer screening at our offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn as part of each routine dental checkup to protect our patients.
Symptoms and Risk Factors of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer refers to several cancers that may develop on the lips and in the mouth, throat, and jaw. Symptoms of oral cancer may include sores that don’t heal, white or red patches in your mouth, loose teeth, lumps or other growths, and ear or mouth pain. You may also have difficulty swallowing. It is hard to screen yourself for oral cancer, but a dentist has the tools and training to spot anomalies in your mouth that may be early signs of cancer.
Risk factors include alcohol and tobacco use, sun exposure, HPV, and a compromised immune system. However, diet and genetics can also play a big role. Around 95% of oral cancers are diagnosed in patients over 40, but younger people can develop them, even if they never smoke or drink. Screening for oral cancer twice a year during your dental visit can provide peace of mind and ensure you’re not caught by surprise.
What to expect during your screening
Oral cancer screening is done during each routine checkup, and the process only takes a couple of moments using VELscope, a specialized light source that highlights abnormal tissues in your mouth. Your dentist will also feel your jaw and areas on your throat for growths. Abnormal tissue isn’t always a sign of cancer. If your dentist finds anything unusual, they may either monitor it closely or perform a non-invasive biopsy on the area for screening at a lab. If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, our team will work with your health care provider to help you get the treatment you need as soon as possible.
The sooner your oral cancer is diagnosed, the more treatment options are available. Contact TriBeCa Dental Associates at our offices in Brooklyn and Manhattan today to set up an appointment and learn more about how we can protect your oral health.