Oral cancer screening performed by Paxton, MA dentist

Did you know that over 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer each year, and one American dies every hour from the disease? One of the best ways to identify oral cancer in its early stages, when it is easiest to treat, is through oral cancer screening. At Paxton Dental Care in Paxton, MA, Dr. Scott Siemen performs annual oral cancer screenings as part of your routine dental examinations.

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer is the uncontrolled growth of cells in any of your oral tissues. In its early stages, it does not typically cause any pain and may just look like a flat patch in your mouth or a sore that doesn’t heal, so you may not know that it is cancer. Oral cancer is one of the most curable cancers if it is caught early, which is why regular oral cancer screenings by a qualified professional are important for your health.

Oral cancer risk factors

Oral cancer can occur in anyone. While tobacco use is a known risk factor for oral cancer, it is estimated that one in four people who get the disease have never smoked and don’t have any other lifestyle-related risk factors. However, people who have the following risk factors are at a higher risk of developing the disease:

  • Consume a large amount of alcohol
  • Excessive exposure to the sun on your lips
  • Weakened immune system
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) carriers

How oral cancer screenings are performed

To perform an oral cancer check, we use a technology called ViziLite Plus, which has been shown to be effective at identifying both pre-cancerous and cancerous areas in the mouth. Performing the screening is quick and pain-free. We give you a solution to rinse your mouth, and then use the specialized ViziLite Plus device to view the following areas of your mouth for any suspicious spots:

  • Tongue
  • Floor of the mouth
  • Inside of cheeks
  • Hard palate
  • Soft palate
  • Uvula
  • Tonsils

The whole process only takes a few minutes and is an important aspect of maintaining your oral health for years to come! To schedule your regular dental check-up and oral cancer screening, call Paxton Dental Care at (508) 557-2400 today.

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