About 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, making it even more critical to catch and treat oral cancer lesions early on. At Drs. Delgado & Kuzmik P.C. Alexandria, our skilled oral surgeons suggest that patients undergo oral cancer screening at least once a year, as well as to conduct oral self-cancer screening at home every month. Drs. Edward Delgado and Michael Kuzmik both diagnose and treat all stages of oral cancer in addition to performing biopsies and oral pathology treatments at our Alexandria, VA office. It is important to contact our team as soon as you notice any sores, lesions, bumps, lumps, or any other abnormalities in or around your mouth in order to schedule a thorough oral cancer screening.
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"I was referred to Dr. Delgado for wisdom teeth extraction. I still had all 4 of them but # (1) had become problematic. I have had quite a bit of dental work done but this extraction was just about pain free. No swelling and very little blood. He took the time to explain the procedure and answer all questions. I highly recommend Dr. Delgado! "- K.T. / Healthgrades / Mar 07, 2022
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With the possibility of occurring in several places in the mouth, such as the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, hard and soft palates, the floor of the mouth, and the throat, oral cancer is serious and should be treated as soon as possible. A few factors that may inflate your risk for developing oral cancer include the use of tobacco, excessive alcohol consumption, genetic factors, exposure to the sun, human papillomavirus (HPV), and poor oral/general health. As soon as you notice any changes in or around your mouth, you should schedule an exam promptly, no matter how long the lesion may have been there.
Though not every abnormal lesion may be cancerous, it is still important to be examined by your dentist or one of our board-certified oral surgeons if you notice any signs or symptoms of oral cancer. In some cases, oral pain can be a symptom of oral cancer, as well as other indicators, such as:
- Lesions/sores that are not healing in an appropriate amount of time
- Raised areas or lumps on or in your mouth
- Abnormal white or red patches
- A mass or nodule in your throat
- Complications with chewing or swallowing
- A persistent sore throat or hoarseness
In your oral cancer exam, if an issue or suspicious abnormality is identified, Drs. Delgado and Kuzmik may suggest a biopsy, as well as a digital x-ray. Prior to a biopsy, the area will be numbed with a local anesthetic and a small part of the lesion will be removed for testing. Using the results of your biopsy, Drs. Delgado and Kuzmik will be able to determine if cancerous cells are present. They will then be able to create a thorough treatment plan that may vary, depending on the severity of your condition. Procedures to treat precancerous, cancerous, and other abnormal tissues can include surgical removal or other treatments.
Following your biopsy or treatment, a member of our team will provide you with thorough aftercare instructions to allow you to heal properly. Additionally, you will need to attend follow-up appointments so that we can assess how you are healing. You should also continue to perform self-oral cancer screenings at home in addition to attending annual dental exams. We may also recommend that you come into our facility for more frequent oral cancer screenings after a cancer diagnosis.
Diagnosing and treating oral cancer in its initial stages is very important in order to provide treatment as soon as possible. When any abnormalities are noticed in or around your mouth, they should be assessed right away for a proper diagnosis. Contact our Alexandria, VA team if you have experienced any unusual signs and symptoms that could be related to oral cancer to schedule your oral cancer screening and consultative appointment.