Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral Cancer Screenings services located in Glen Ellyn, IL

The American Cancer Society estimates that the United States sees up to 55,000 new cases of oral cancer each year. At John T. Zaffer, DDS, in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, experienced dentist Dr. Zaffer aims to reduce that number through comprehensive oral cancer screenings. Dr. Zaffer invests in the latest diagnostic technology to provide patients with early detection and timely intervention. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

Oral Cancer Screenings Q & A

What are oral cancer screenings?

An oral cancer screening is a preventive exam that checks for signs of oral cancer. During these routine screenings, Dr. Zaffer looks inside and around your mouth for abnormalities that can indicate the presence of cancer and other oral diseases. Early detection is crucial for diagnosing and treating oral cancer before it progresses.

Why are oral cancer screenings important?

Oral cancer is difficult to detect without a professional evaluation. Many patients lack noticeable symptoms until the cancer has advanced to spread to other areas. The high mortality rates of oral cancer are often the result of late diagnoses. 

Oral cancer screenings have many benefits for people of all ages, including:

  • Early detection and intervention
  • Painless exam
  • Oral health protection
  • Improved survival rates
  • Reduced need for invasive treatments
  • Long-term cost savings
  • Risk assessment

Your age and lifestyle habits may influence how Dr. Zaffer conducts each screening and their frequency. For example, if you smoke cigarettes, chew tobacco, or have a family history of oral cancer, he may recommend more frequent visits.

What signs do dentists look for during oral cancer screenings?

Dr. Zaffer checks for many signs during an oral cancer screening, including:

  • Mouth sores
  • Facial swelling
  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Persistent hoarseness 
  • Voice changes
  • Numbness or pain in the mouth or lips
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Sore throat
  • Lumps, bumps, or growths in the mouth or neck
  • Changes in the way dentures fit
  • Changes in the appearance of the tongue or tonsils

These symptoms have many causes besides oral cancer, but a comprehensive assessment ensures your oral health, function, and peace of mind.

What do oral cancer screenings involve?

First, Dr. Zaffer visually assesses your face, jaw, and neck, checking for obvious lesions, sores, or swelling. He palpates (touches) your jaw, neck, and beneath your chin to detect lumps, bumps, or swollen lymph nodes.

Next, he uses a special light, mirror, and tongue depressor to look for growths and other abnormalities inside your mouth, paying special attention to the roof of your mouth, gums, inner cheeks, throat, and tonsils.

If Dr. Zaffer detects any abnormal symptoms, he may recommend a biopsy.

Oral cancer screenings save thousands of lives when performed by an experienced dentist like Dr. Zaffer. Call John T. Zaffer, DDS, today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.