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Oral Cancer Screening
Hillsboro, OR


Oral Cancer ribbon at North Hills Dental in Hillsboro, ORThis year, it is estimated that 53,260 adult Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer. Oral cancer is a deadly disease, but it can be treated if it is found in its early stage. However, most of the time when a patient notices its symptoms, the disease has already spread.

That’s why it is so important to not miss your routine dental checkups. At North Hills Dental, we offer comprehensive dental exams with oral cancer screening. Remember though that just because we recommend an oral cancer screening, does not mean you necessarily have oral cancer.

Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Done?


Dr. Rowley perform an oral cancer screening to look for symptoms or precancerous signs in your mouth. Oral cancer involves the visual and physical examination of the mouth and is recommended by us as a precautionary measure or for a high-risk patient.

Risk Factors of Oral Cancer


There are several risk factors that can increase the chance of a person contracting oral cancer. Here are the most common of them:

•  Gender: Men are twice as likely to get oral cancer than women.
•  Lifestyle: Using tobacco, chewing betel nut, consuming excess alcohol, and using snuff can all lead to a greater risk of oral cancer.
•  Medical History: If you have a history of oral cancer, you are more likely to develop the disease again.
•  HPV: Research has found a link between Human Papillomavirus and oropharyngeal cancer. Although people with HPV-positive cancer do not have a high risk of dying, treatment is more effective if the disease is diagnosed in its early stages.
•  Sun Exposure: Overexposure to the sun, particularly if you do not use sunscreen, can cause sores on the lips which can lead to cancer.


What to Expect During an Oral Cancer Exam Session


At North Hills Dental, we perform a visual and physical examination of your mouth to look for signs of oral cancer. This involves checking the insides of your cheek, the palate, over and beneath the tongue, the gums, tonsils, and the back of the throat. If you wear removable prosthetics like dentures, you will be asked to remove them prior to the exam so that we can clearly see the inside of your mouth.
We will look for unusual signs like sores, ulcers, red or white patches, lumps, bleeding in certain areas of the mouth and color changes.


After the visual exam, we will conduct a physical exam on your mouth and will use our fingers to feel for any unusual textures in your mouth, including rough, dry, or overly smooth tissues, stiff tissues, lumps, and nodules. We will also feel under your chin, on the side of your neck and jaw, and the side of your nose as well. We may also provide you with a mouth rinse made up of a special dye. This dye will be absorbed in the mouth and will make the problematic tissues more visible.

Oral Cancer Screening Results


An oral cancer screening is a precautionary measure for high-risk people. During the exam, if we find some unusual signs in your mouth, we may monitor it. You may be asked to come a few weeks later so that we can see if the unusual areas in your mouth have changed during that time.

If we detect something suspicious, we may recommend a biopsy of the strange tissues. This is done to check if it contains cancer cells. However, keep in mind that just because we recommend a biopsy, does not mean you have cancer symptoms. Even if it turns out you do have cancer, early treatment can help you fight the disease effectively. An oral cancer exam is an opportunity for you to discuss your oral health concerns and ask how to lead a healthier lifestyle to reduce the risk of disease.

The oral cancer screening takes about 5 minutes and it can give you peace of mind about your oral health. If you think you should get an oral cancer screening, call us today at (503) 567-4121 to schedule an appointment.

North Hills Dental
FAMILY & COSMETIC DENTISTRY



433 SE Baseline Street Hillsboro, OR 97123-4103

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