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Oral Cancer Screening
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Oral Cancer Screenings, Why They’re Worth It

More people are becoming aware of oral cancer due to the rise in cases in recent years. Through oral cancer screenings, your Northridge, California dentists can detect signs of mouth cancer early when it’s easier to treat. Early treatment could lead to full recovery from this deadly disease. Drs. Terence Lau, Casey Lau, and Kayla Lau offer annual oral cancer screenings at Mid-Valley Dental Care in Northridge, California. 

Causes of Mouth Cancer 

Mouth cancer results from DNA mutation of cells in your mouth and can occur on your lips, tongue, gums, inner cheeks, or the roof or floor of your mouth. As the cells mutate, they continue growing and accumulating in your mouth. Over time, they can form tumors that spread throughout your mouth and other parts of your body. The reason the cells mutate is not known. However, certain factors increase your risk of this disease, such as:

  • Heavy use of alcohol or tobacco products
  • Excessive exposure to the sun (for lip cancer)
  • A weak immune system
  • If you have the sexually-transmitted virus HPV 

Oral Cancer Stages

Oral cancer can be divided into four stages: 

  • In Stage one, the tumor is no larger than 2 cm, without spreading to your lymph nodes.
  • In Stage two, the tumor is approximately 2-4 cm in size, without having spread to your lymph nodes.
  • In Stage three, the tumor has grown over 4 cm in size but has not spread to lymph nodes or is any size and has spread to only one lymph node, but not other parts of your body. 
  • In Stage four, tumors of any size have metastasized to other parts of your body.

In an oral cancer screening, your dentist checks your mouth, throat, and neck for signs of sores, unusual spots, or other abnormalities that could be cancerous. If we uncover irregularities, we can take tissue samples to send to a lab for testing. The sooner a diagnosis is made, the sooner you can get treatment to help save your life!

Oral Cancer Screening in and around Northridge, California

To schedule an annual oral cancer screening, contact our Mid-Valley Dental Care Northridge, CA clinic at (818) 886-3500.

Real Patients. Real Results.