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Hours of Operation

 

Monday 9:00am - 6:00pm

Tuesday -Thursday
8:00am - 5:00pm

Friday 8:00am - 12:00pm

Closed on Friday
during the Summer.

Phone: 989-773-3560

900 E Bellows St, Mt Pleasant, MI 48858


 

Family Dentistry - Mount Pleasant MI

Oral CancerEveryone knows about cancer, but certain types of cancer are more in the forefront of people’s minds: breast, lung, colon, skin, etc. But for Dr. Egger, he keeps a vigilant eye out for the #11 cause of cancer mortality, oral cancer.

Oral cancer includes cancer of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, and the hard palate. If caught early, it can usually be successfully treated. But that’s the important word, early.

Oral cancer screening is a part of every office visit with Dr. Egger and his staff. But if you don’t come in for regular checkups and cleanings how can we spot these cancers?

Way beyond those who smoke

There is a misperception among most people that the only way you’re going to get oral cancer is if you smoke or dip. Nope. In actuality, 25% of oral cancers occur in people who don’t smoke. Over the past few years, Dr. Egger is seeing more and more young patients with oral cancer due to the human papilloma virus (HPV). You may have heard of this virus in connection with cervical cancer, but it also greatly increases the risk of oral cancer.

Catching it early is key

It may seem obsessive, but basically every time you come to our Mt. Pleasant offices, we’ll do two things: talk about the Red Wings and check your mouth for oral cancer. Why is Dr. Egger so persnickety about it? Because early diagnosis is key to survival.

These are the survival rates by the stage: Stage 1 = 80-85%, Stage 2 = 60-75%, Stage 3 = 35-66%, Stage 4 = 15-30%.

When discovered early, the five-year survival rate for oral cancer patients is about 83%. Unfortunately, most oral cancers are discovered in later stages, usually due to patients skipping regular dental exams.

Symptoms to watch for

Men account for 70% or oral cancer cases, especially men over the age of 50. These are the most common symptoms of oral cancer, and any of these should be attended to if you develop the symptom.

  • Swelling, lumps, bumps, rough spots/crusts on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth.
  • A soreness or feeling that something is continually caught in the back of your throat
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that don’t heal within two weeks.Unexplained bleeding in the mouth.\
  • Numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, neck, or ear.
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, moving the jaw or tongue.
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, change in voice
  • Lump in the neck
  • Dramatic weight loss

How we check for oral cancer at Dr. Egger’s

Ever wonder why we look under your tongue, push on the glands under your jawline, and check for bumps on your lips and in your mouth? It’s all part of our screening for oral cancer. Dr. Egger and our hygienists feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in the mouth, head, face, and neck. We look for sores or discolored tissue, and inquire about any of the symptoms we list above.

Have you been skipping your twice-yearly cleanings thinking that you’d save a few bucks? Not only does that increase your chances of developing dental issues such as gum disease, but it also increases your chances of later stage oral cancer.

Is it time to schedule your next cleaning with Dr. Egger? Call us at 989-773-3560 to set it up.