Oral cancer exams in Petaluma, CA

Over 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year, with approximately 7,000 cases resulting in death. However, oral cancer can be detected at an early stage with a quick and painless oral cancer exam. At North Bay Smiles, Dr. Yvonne Szyperski performs a thorough evaluation during your routine dental cleaning and check-up to check for any potentially cancerous lesions and also offers dedicated comprehensive oral cancer screenings for patients in the Petaluma, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Santa Rosa, Novato, and surrounding CA areas.

Symptoms of oral cancer

Also called mouth cancer, oral cancer is any cancer that develops within the mouth, such as on the tongue, salivary glands, throat, lips, gums, or other soft tissues. Symptoms of oral cancer vary, but may include one or more of the following:

  • Sores or red, white, or pink patches that don’t go away over time
  • Hardened white or gray lesions that are slightly raised
  • Lumps or areas of thickened tissue
  • Unexplained soreness or bleeding

While anyone can get oral cancer, it is more common among people with modifiable behaviors, such as those who smoke or chew tobacco or who have heavy alcohol consumption.

Oral cancer screening

An oral cancer test is completely painless and quick to perform. Dr. Szyperski starts by performing a visual inspection of your mouth, checking for abnormalities such as lumps, suspicious lesions, or discolored patches. She may also use a laser to detect any potential issues that may not be visible to the naked eye. If any potential issues are found, a biopsy or other diagnostic procedures may be performed and we will work with you to determine the appropriate next steps. The good news is that when oral cancer is found early, treatment is typically very effective. However, if left untreated or detected at a later stage, oral cancer can spread to other places in both the facial region and elsewhere throughout the body, at which point it may cause more extensive damage and become potentially life-threatening.

If you have any questions about mouth cancer, its symptoms, or how oral cancer screening works, we are happy to talk with you! To get your questions answered or schedule your oral cancer screening, call North Bay Smiles today at (707) 306-8001.