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Oral cancer is preventable and highly treatable with an exam at your Murrieta, CA dentist

Around 10 of every 100,000 Californians will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer. These cancers of the lips, tongue, pharynx, and mouth have a high rate of successful treatment when detected and addressed early. For instance, the California Department of Public Health reports localized mouth cancers (that have not spread) have a more than 85 percent five-year survival rate. Comparatively, the five-year  rates for cancers that have spread to the lymph nodes and distant tissues is 62 percent and almost 38 percent respectively.

Scola Family Dentistry in Murrieta, CA plays an important role in identifying these cancers early. During a routine, six-month exam, Dr. Scola screens for suspicious abnormalities. She feels for suspect lumps and bumps. And any growths that may be missed with visual inspection, can be pinpointed with our use of sophisticated imaging. For instance, we use Cone-Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT), which is a safe, non-invasive way to capture quality, 360-degree images of your oral cavity and associated structures. These advanced alternatives to traditional CT scans aid in an accurate diagnosis. And, in these cases, accurate diagnostics can add years to your life.

Some of the symptoms of oral cancers include:

  • Sores that never heal
  • Thickness or swelling inside of the mouth
  • Patches of white or red discoloration on the gummy tissues, tonsils, tongue, and inside of the cheeks
  • Functional problems, such as difficulty swallowing or moving your tongue
  • Sore throat or the feeling that something is “stuck” inside your throat
  • Numb lips

If you have risk factors for these cancers, we recommend more frequent visits to our office. So, we can monitor any changes proactively. Use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, and other tobacco products is the single biggest and most preventable cause of oral cancer. Smoking and smokeless tobacco have also been linked causally to cancers that arise in at least seven additional major cancer sites. The Oral Cancer Foundation also lists heavy use of alcohol consumption and poor diet as risk factors. Not unlike skin cancer, oral cancers that arise on the lips are associated with unprotected exposure to UV light from the sun’s rays or from tanning beds and other artificial sources. Knowing that prevention is the best form of treatment, we will work with you to manage these risks and minimize your chances of developing mouth cancers.Do not wait for scary symptoms to arise. If you live in or around Temecula, Menifee, Wildomar, Lake Elsinore, Sun City, and Canyon Lake, contact us to schedule your appointment at our office in Murrieta.

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