COVID-19 UPDATE: Office Hours
We Are Open!
Monday - Friday: 7am - 7pm
Saturday: 8am - 4pm

We are happy to announce that we will be resuming normal care Monday-Saturday. Please call the office to reserve an appointment. For a detailed update on how we are following CDC and ADA guidelines, please click here:

Read More: Letter to Our Patients

Oral Cancer Screening

Ten thousand lives will be cut unexpectedly short this year due to oral cancer. Every single year, over 50,000 people will get a diagnosis of oral cancer, and over half of them will have perished before five years have passed. The sad thing about oral cancer is not that it is particularly lethal or more deadly than other types of cancer, but that by the time it is detected, cancer has spread and is harder to treat. We here at Cane Bay Family Dentistry strongly advise that all of our patients see us every six months for a routine checkup that includes an oral cancer screening.

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer can be very hard to detect at home. Because of this, this disease often progresses to a more advanced stage before the patient realizes they have it. Oral cancer can also appear in any part of your mouth, which means that checking yourself at home may miss the region where the cancer is growing.

Signs of oral cancer can include a red or white patch or lesion in your mouth that does not seem to want to heal, a bleeding ulcer or sore, or a mass in your mouth or throat. Pain or problems when swallowing can also be a sign of oral cancer. A sore throat, or hoarseness, may also be a clue that oral cancer is present. Finally, unexplained loose teeth may mean that an individual has oral cancer.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

In the past, one of the greatest determining factors of oral cancer was the use of tobacco and alcohol products. Sun exposure, age, and gender (typically men) were at greater risk for developing oral cancer. While these considerations still greatly increase your risk of developing oral cancer, more and more young people are getting diagnosed with oral cancer annually. This is due to the presence of the human papillomavirus (HPV), which has been linked to oral cancer.

What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening?

During an oral cancer screening, we will thoroughly assess your mouth, jaw, and throat. We will start by taking your medical history. If you have any areas of concern, please let us know so we can assess them.

Your screening will start with a visual exam, where we will look for any visual signs of oral cancer. We will also perform a physical exam on your mouth and throat, where we will palpate (press gently) to check for any tenderness or masses. During your screening, we will check all surfaces of your mouth, including your tonsils, soft palate, cheeks, gums, tongue, underneath your tongue, and your lips.

If we find anything suspicious during your oral cancer screening, we will take a sample of the suspicious cells to send to our lab for a biopsy. If we do determine that you do have oral cancer, we can discuss your treatment options with you. These may include chemotherapy, surgery to remove any masses, immunotherapy, and radiation.

Many types of oral cancer can be treated if caught early. With early detection, the prognosis is greatly improved. To learn more about oral cancer, or to set up an appointment with us here at Cane Bay Family Dentistry for an oral cancer screening, please give us a call today at (843) 352-4454.

Get in Touch!

(843) 352-4454


1724 State Rd Suite 4D
Summerville, SC 29483

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