Oral Cancer Screenings – Lewisville, TX
Saving Lives With Early Detection
Oral cancer rates have increased and an estimated 50,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year. Fortunately, when it’s found early, the survival rate for this devastating disease is 85%-90%. As a dentist in Lewisville, Dr. Capehart takes oral cancer screenings very seriously and performs one at every checkup. If it’s been a while since your last visit and you’d like to be proactive about your health, contact us today to schedule an appointment. Screenings are fast, easy, and very much well worth it!
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of oral cancer to be aware of:
- Changes in your voice
- The feeling that something is always stuck in your throat
- A sore or lesion that hasn’t gone away within 10 days (in many cases, these aren’t painful)
- Trouble chewing or swallowing
- A lump or bump that suddenly appears
What Does My Dentist Look For During an Oral Cancer Screening?
With an undergraduate degree in biology and extensive pathology courses in dental school, Dr. Capehart is well-trained to differentiate between normal and abnormal soft tissues in the oral cavity. This allows him to determine whether something is either cause for concern or relatively benign such as a canker sore. During your screening, he’ll look closely for red or white patches, thick, callous-like tissue, asymmetrical ulcerations, and swelling.
He’ll also take a look at your general health history to evaluate risk factors such as:
- A weak immune system
- Smoking or heavy drinking
- Frequent or severe sunburns (this increases the risk for melanoma, which is typically found on the lips)
What Can I Expect During My Screening?
Oral cancer screenings in Lewisville are essential for early detection and, fortunately, have the added benefit of being fast and non-invasive. In fact, although these screenings are done at each checkup, they’re so easy that you may not have known you were having them in the past.
Since two pairs of eyes are better than one, both Dr. Capehart and one of our experienced hygienists will perform separate screenings. They’ll start by closely looking at your lips, throat, underneath your tongue, and your tongue itself. They may also gently palpate the area under your neck and jaws to see if there are any lumps, bumps, or tender areas.
If Dr. Capehart sees anything out of the ordinary, he’ll either diagnose it as something benign (such as a cold sore), ask you to come back in 10-14 days for another look, or refer you to a specialist for further assessment. Keep in mind that this isn’t a diagnosis, so try not to worry! It simply means that we’d like more information.
By coming in regularly for checkups, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you have the advantage of early detection and effective treatment.