Oral cancer can develop on the tongue, gums, roof of the mouth, lips or anywhere in the mouth. Common symptoms include sores in the mouth that do not heal, pain in the mouth or ear, or trouble swallowing, chewing or speaking. If you are suffering from oral cancer symptoms, Drs. Jonathan Szymanowski and C. Thaddeus Szymanowski, can help.
Diagnosis of Oral Cancer
During a screening for oral cancer, our periodontists may use one or several methods for diagnosis. Initially, you might undergo procedures known as mucosal staining or chemiluminescent light. Each of these procedures are non-invasive ways to determine if cells in the mouth are abnormal. If abnormalities are present, we then order a biopsy. Biopsies can be done under local anesthesia in the clinic or under general anesthesia in the hospital and generally depend on where the abnormalities are. Once biopsied, we examine the cells under a microscope. Results can take up to two weeks.
If the results of the biopsy indicate oral cancer, we will call you in to discuss treatment options. If the disease was caught early on, treatment could be as simple as a surgery to remove the abnormal cells along with some of the surrounding normal ones. If the cancer is aggressive, we might recommend radiation or chemotherapy in addition to surgery. We will also use CT scans, MRIs or other scans to determine if the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body.
Prognosis of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is highly treatable when caught in the early stages. Unfortunately, however, many do not catch it as early on as they could have because they do not receive checkups as frequently as they should. For this reason, it is important to get regular oral checkups even if you do not exhibit any symptoms of cancer.
If you are suffering from oral cancer symptoms, or would like to learn more, you should schedule an appointment with our periodontists right away by calling 866-898-2315 today.