Quick Answer: Can a dentist diagnose oral cancer?

Should I see a dentist or doctor for oral cancer?

Your primary care physician and family dentist have continuing obligations to be knowledgeable of signs and symptoms of oral cancer. Your doctor/dentist should assume any lesion in your oral cavity of unknown origin that persists over two or three weeks could be oral cancer, unless proven otherwise.

What cancers can dentists detect?

But many dentists also use these routine visits to check for signs of cancer. Oral cancer, which often appears as a growth or sore that does not go away, includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheek, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, and throat.

Do dentists treat oral cancer?

Specialists who treat oral cancer include: Head and neck surgeons. Dentists who specialize in surgery of the mouth, face, and jaw (oral and maxillofacial surgeons). Ear, nose, and throat doctors (otolaryngologists).

What can be mistaken for mouth cancer?

Mouth cancer on your gums can sometimes be mistaken for gingivitis, a common gum inflammation. Some of the signs are similar, including bleeding gums. However, gum cancer symptoms also include white, red or dark patches on the gums, cracking gums, and thick areas on the gums.

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Do oral cancer symptoms come and go?

Swelling in one or more lymph nodes in the neck is a common symptom of mouth and oropharyngeal cancer. A hot red painful lump usually means an infection, rather than a cancer. Lumps that come and go are not usually due to cancer. Cancer usually forms a lump that slowly gets bigger.

Do mouth cancers hurt?

Canker sores: Painful, but not dangerous

In the early stages, mouth cancer rarely causes any pain. Abnormal cell growth usually appears as flat patches. A canker sore looks like an ulcer, usually with a depression in the center.

Why did my dentist feel my neck?

If you have dentures or partials, you will be asked to remove them. Your dentist will inspect your face, neck, lips, and mouth to look for signs of cancer. With both hands, he or she will feel the area under your jaw and the side of your neck, checking for lumps that may suggest cancer.

Can you have a tumor in your mouth?

The accumulating abnormal mouth cancer cells can form a tumor. With time they may spread inside the mouth and on to other areas of the head and neck or other parts of the body. Mouth cancers most commonly begin in the flat, thin cells (squamous cells) that line your lips and the inside of your mouth.

Can oral cancer be cured completely?

If the cancer has not spread beyond the mouth or the part of your throat at the back of your mouth (oropharynx) a complete cure may be possible using surgery alone. If the cancer is large or has spread to your neck, a combination of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy may be needed.

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Does oral cancer spread quickly?

Most oral cancers are a type called squamous cell carcinoma. These cancers tend to spread quickly. Smoking and other tobacco use are linked to most cases of oral cancer. Heavy alcohol use also increases the risk for oral cancer.