Oral Cancer Screening

In recent times, the fight against cancer has received much media attention, mostly the fight against breast cancer. Dr. Mejia warns that a very common type of cancer is often forgotten and overlooked when it comes to protecting your health…Oral Cancer.

The American Dental Association states that only half of all patients diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years, usually because the diagnosis happens so late. What can be alarming is that although the use of tobacco and alcohol are risk factors in developing oral cancer, approximately 25% of oral cancer patients have no known risk factors. In addition, there has been a nearly five-fold increase in incidence in oral cancer patients under age 40, many with no known risk factors. Dr. Mejia wants to change these statistics by educating his patients and others in the Dallas area.

Signs and Symptoms:
• A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal.
• A color change of the oral tissues.
• A lump, a thickening, a rough spot, crust or a small eroded area.
• Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips.
• Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue.

Risk Factors:
• Alcohol use combined with smoking.
• Prolonged exposure to the sun increases the risk of lip cancer.
• Oral Cancer is more likely to strike after age 40.

Prevention and Detection:
• Avoid tobacco and alcohol use.
Regular dental check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth.
• Studies suggest that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may prevent the development of potentially cancerous lesions.

At The Plano Dentist, Dr. Mejia explains that screening for Oral Cancer will be done during each routine check-up. The exam will include looking for lesions, areas of abnormal cells (white or red patches), as well as checking all mucous membranes. If Dr. Mejia sees a suspicious area, he then utilizes Velscope technology. The Velscope uses tissue fluorescence, which is an optical phenomenon that causes abnormal tissue to appear a different color.

Patients can rest assured that Dr. Mejia takes your total health very seriously and is doing all he can to keep you safe and healthy.