Oral Pathology

About Oral Cancer

Head and neck cancers, often referred to simply as “oral cancer,” include cancers of the mouth and throat, nasal cavity and salivary glands. As oral surgeons, we are uniquely qualified to diagnose and surgically treat all forms of head and neck cancer. In addition to that, Dr. Petrisor is the Director of Oral, Head, and neck Oncologic and Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery at OHSU, making Mountain View Oral Surgery & Dental Implants the premier service provider for cancers of the head and neck.

Risk Factors and What to Look For

Oral cancer has several avoidable risk factors. Those include the use of tobacco (smoking and smokeless), drinking alcohol in excess, and the HPV virus. Because oral cancer often isn’t detected until it is in advanced stages, it is important to be on the lookout for the following signs:

  • Sores or lumps that last longer than 2 weeks
  • Patches of red or white inside the mouth
  • Persistent pain or hoarseness
  • Unexplained bleeding or numbness

Early Detection: The Key to Oral Cancer

Like many cancers, survival rates for oral cancer are much higher when the cancer is small. That is why it is critical that patients are seen for regular screenings yearly in our office, in addition to performing the steps below monthly at home.

Oral Cancer: Self-Exam in 8 Steps

  1. Facial Exam: Examine your skin for any potential changes in color, growth or moles.
  2. Head and Neck Symmetry: Look for any lumps or swelling on one side of the face and neck.
  3. Neck: Gently use your hands to feel for lumps or tender spots on the neck. Holding your “Adam’s apple,” swallow and feel the bump go up and down.
  4. Lips: Examine the lips for changes in color, texture, lumps or sores.
  5. Cheeks: Using two fingers (one inside and outside,) feel along the cheeks for any lumps. Also look inside the cheeks for sores.
  6. Gums: Check for red or white patches or other discoloration.
  7. Tongue: Examine the tongue all the way to the back, looking for sores, patches or lumps.
  8. Roof of the Mouth: Examine the roof of the mouth as far back as you can, looking for lumps and patches.

Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery

Head and neck reconstruction surgery is possible for patients with surgical defects. Learn more about microvascular reconstructive surgery.

Please call our office today to set up your oral pathology screening! McMinnville Office Phone Number 503-472-1468