Oral Cancer Screenings
In the United States alone, one adult dies every hour from oral cancer. When we identify oral cancer in its initial stages, treatment can begin more quickly.
In the initial stages, treatment has a higher rate of success and is less invasive. In more advanced stages, oral cancer is more likely to spread to other areas and will need complex treatment.
Dr. Michael Nichols recommends having an oral cancer screening at least once a year. Regular screenings can help ensure early detection of any potential cancers.
Oral Cancer Symptoms
During your oral cancer screening, Dr. Michael Nichols will check for any abnormalities. We will closely examine your mouth, throat, lips, gums, and tongue.
Let us know about any potential symptoms you have experienced, including:
- Pain or difficulty with speaking, swallowing, or moving your jaw or tongue
- A sensation that something is caught in the back of your throat
- Sore throat with no other sinus symptoms
- Lumps or swellings in or around your mouth
- Drastic weight loss
- White or red patches in your mouth
- Mouth sores that don’t heal
- Unexplained ear pain
- Unexplained bleeding in your mouth
Call us immediately if you experience any of these symptoms for more than a week without improvement.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Anyone may develop oral cancer. But there are certain factors that can increase your risk.
Some of the most common include:
- Being male (men are more likely to develop oral cancer than women)
- Use of tobacco in any form (6 times more likely)
- A genetic predisposition for oral cancers
- Excessive or prolonged exposure to the sun
- Unhealthy diet
- Excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Having gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Learn More About Oral Cancer Screenings
An oral cancer screening may save your life! For this reason, we always recommend that our patients don't skip their routine visits for preventive dental care.
To request an appointment, call Nichols Family Dentistry at (616) 333-8496. Our Grand Rapids dentist and his team are ready to help!