Oral Cancer Screening Palo Alto
Early detection of oral cancer can decrease morbidity and increase long-term survival.
Your oral cancer screening doesn’t require any special preparation. Oral cancer screening is performed yearly during your hygiene visit with  Dr. Hansen, Dr. Tseng and the hygiene team. Rest assured we have many eyes on the lookout for anything unusual.
During an oral cancer screening exam, we look over the inside of your mouth to check for red or white patches and/or mouth sores. Using gloved hands, your dentist also feels the tissues in your mouth to check for lumps or other abnormalities. The dentist may also examine your throat and neck for lumps.

Why are oral cancer screenings so important?

Oral cancer is a common cancer of the head and neck, affecting people all around the world. Nearly 54,000 Americans receive an oral or oropharyngeal cancer diagnosis each year.
Oral cancer has a five-year survival rate of 57%. This means that just a little more than half of the people diagnosed with oral cancer are alive five years after their diagnosis. Oral cancer isn’t particularly difficult to diagnose. But fatality rates are high because oral cancer is too often detected late in its development. Oral cancer screenings are the best tool available for early diagnosis and treatment.

Oral Cancer Symptoms

  • mouth and lip sores that don’t heal
  • mouth, ear, and neck pain
  • oral growths
  • loose teeth
  • white or reddish patches inside the mouth
  • painful swallowing
  • tongue numbness
  • voice changes
  • neck lumps
  • sudden weight loss
  • chronic bad breath

How Often Should You Have an Oral Cancer Screening?

Adults over the age of 20 should have a screening every three years while those over 40 should have annual screenings. Risk factors include use of tobacco, heavy alcohol consumption, human papillomavirus (HPV) and/or have a family history of oral cancer.