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Oral Cancer Screening | Dr. Kamil - Ottawa Dentist

November 19, 2014 | Posted in Oral Cancer, Bone and Gum Grafting | Be the first one to comment

Firstly, what is oral cancer and who is at risk?

Oral cancer is the cancer of the mouth which results from abnormal cell growth in the mouth, tongue, throat or lips. It appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that does not go away. One third of the patients diagnosed with oral cancer die in Canada. However, not everyone is at the same risk of acquiring it. According to the American Cancer Society, men are at twice the risk of developing oral cancer as women, and men over the age of 45 face the greatest risk. Risk factors for the development of oral cancer are:

  • Smoking
  • Smokeless tobacco users
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Family history of cancer, unhealthy diet
  • Excessive sun exposure

What are the signs and symptoms?

Like all types of health issues, oral cancers can be detected through the visibility of these signs and symptoms. If you notice any of the following changes, contact your dentist immediately.
  • White or dark patches in your mouth
  • Lumps or changes in the texture or colour of your moth tissues
  • Bleeding or numbness in the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Overall abnormal changes in the mouth/throat area

Thorough Oral Cancer Screening

When coming for a complete dental examination, Dr. Abou-Kheir will most likely follow a six-or eight-step oral cancer screening.
  1. The first step the Dr. Abou-Kheir  will do is check the tongue with a guaze, visually examining it for any swelling, ulceration or change in size, colour or texture.
  2. Next, he will do a lip and cheek roll, checking the tissue on the inside of the mouth and lips, examining it for any firm or nodular areas, texture or colour changes. Next, the dentist will pull the upper lips out completely and try to observe any changes.
  3. After the front of the mouth has been examined, the floor of the mouth will be examined.
  4. Then comes the palate tickle. The dentist will fill the top of your mouth with his fingers and visually examine it.
  5. The dentist will also perform a neck caress. In this step, the dentist will roll the tissue over the edge of the mandible. Next, the dentist will ask you to turn the head to the side and look down, making the neck muscle stand out. Your muscle will then be examined by rolling the soft tissue over the muscle.
  6. The muscle around the Adams apple will be palpated.
  7. Lastly, the dentist will perform a check of your tonsils, and the back of the throat.
  8. Dr. Kamil also uses the ViziLite system (the most advance technology) to help us identify abnormal tissue that may be a sign of oral cancer

Treatment and Prevention

The treatment that the patient may receive depends on the severity and the location of the oral cancer. The age and the health condition of the patient also play a role. In the case of oral cancer suspicion:
  • A biopsy of the area may be taken
  • Imaging tests such as x-rays, ultra sounds and CT scans or MRI may be needed.
  • Chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery may be needed in order to remove the tumor.

Prevention is the best cure. By visiting Dr. Abou-Kheir regularly and asking for oral cancer screening is one of the best ways to ensure early detection.  Avoid smoking, limit alcohol and tobacco consumption. Avoid exposure to sun, and eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.

If you or someone you know needs an oral cancer screening, get in contact with Dr. Abou-Kheir today. We are conveniently located right on Bank Street here in Ottawa and we will be more than happy to answer any questions you have and guide you through the process. 

Watch "Oral Cancer Screening" video at our Video Library - Oral Health section

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