Oral Cancer Screenings Walnut Creek

Like any other form of cancer, oral cancer can be deadly if not treated and detected early, so at Horizons Dental we offer thorough oral cancer screenings to all of our patients.

Dr. Dale Villasenor DDS
Oral Cancer Screen on Girl

What is Oral Cancer?

The American Cancer Society predicts more than 50,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2018 and, sadly, around 20 percent of those patients will die of those cancers. Thankfully, if you stay on top of your every-six-month check-up, early-stage oral cancer can be easily diagnosed and, more often than not, able to be treated successfully.


Some early signs of oral cancer include:


  • Red or white spots or sores anywhere inside the mouth, especially those that bleed easily
  • A thick lump or rough spot in the oral cavity
  • Numbness, tenderness or pain on the lips or elsewhere in the mouth
  • Trouble chewing, swallowing or moving the jaw or tongue

What is an Oral Cancer Screening?

An oral cancer screening is provided with all of Horizons Dental regular check-ups and involves the hygienist closely examining your mouth for any lesions, sores or discolored spots that look irregular. If those spots are discovered, a more thorough analysis will be performed to determine whether or not an oral cancer is present.

Who is at Risk for Oral Cancer?

Men are twice as likely to be diagnosed with oral cancer than women, and most cancers are discovered in older patients. However, some behaviors and history can leave you at much greater risk for oral cancer, including:


  • Tobacco use, including cigarettes, pipes and chewing tobacco
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Excessive sun exposure, which increases the risk of cancer forming on the lips
  • Having a history of Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Having been previously diagnosed with other cancers

USA Oral Cancer Statistics

Oral Cancer is more than twice as common in men as in women.

Average age of most people diagnosed are around 62 years old.

A recent rise in oropharyngeal cancer linked to HPV.

Statistics according to the American Cancer Society, 2018

Benefits of Early Detection

Cancers detected in Stage I or II are most often treated successfully, and that treatment can be provided through either surgery or radiation. In addition, most patients whose cancer is detected in these early stages will recover with little or no disfigurement after treatment.


Like other cancers, one of the great risks of late detection is the cancer’s ability to spread. If oral cancer is not diagnosed and treated quickly, it can often spread to the larynx, esophagus or lung. If you're looking for Walnut Creek oral cancer screening options, contact Horizons Dental today.

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