In recent years, there has been an alarming increase in oral cancer cases. Early detection is crucial, as it significantly improves the chances of successful treatment—yielding an 85%-90% survival rate when caught early. Dr. Cocco recognizes the importance of these screenings and includes one in every checkup. If it's been some time since your last visit, reach out to us today to schedule an appointment. These screenings are quick and much simpler than you may imagine!
Aside from biannual professional screenings, keep an eye out for these signs and symptoms between visits:
An oral cancer screening is quick and straightforward! In fact, you might have had one during a previous visit without even realizing it. During your regular checkup and cleaning with Dr. Cocco, a thorough visual examination of your oral cavity is conducted. This includes inspecting your lips, the back of your throat, underneath your tongue, and your tongue itself. Additionally, she may gently check for tenderness or lumps under your neck and jaws.
Should we come across anything that raises concern, Dr. Cocco will either identify it as a harmless condition (like a fatty tissue lump or a cold sore), recommend a follow-up examination in two weeks, or refer you to a specialist for further assessment. It’s important to note that a suspicious finding doesn't equate to an oral cancer diagnosis – it simply calls for a closer look.
Dr. Cocco is highly skilled in distinguishing normal from concerning signs. During a screening, she carefully checks for any asymmetries, bumps, swelling, red or white patches, ulcerations, or thickened, callous-like tissue.
In addition, she will go over your medical history and ask about potential risk factors, which may include: