Oral Cancer

You might think that you have to see your doctor for cancer screenings, but dentists play an important role in detecting certain cancers early. In fact, dentists provide oral cancer screenings for patients, which can help uncover this disease quickly and improve the chance of successful treatment. At Issaquah Premier Dental, Dr. Diana Wu, in Issaquah, Washington offers oral cancer screenings for patients who come in for dental visits.

Oral Cancer Q & A

What are the signs of oral cancer?

If you have oral cancer, you might have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent or persistent sore throats
  • Growths inside your mouth
  • Thickened skin inside your mouth
  • Jaw soreness or stiff jaws
  • Trouble swallowing or chewing
  • Painful tongue
  • Loosened teeth

What are the risk factors for oral cancer?

Your risk of having oral cancer might be higher if you have specific risk factors, which include:

  • Being a tobacco user
  • Drinking alcohol frequently or heavily
  • Having human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Having a compromised immune system

How do I know if I might have oral cancer?

You might not realize that you have oral cancer when it’s in the early stages. As part of your dental exams, Dr. Wu checks for signs of oral cancer. If she sees any, she’ll let you know and recommend seeing your doctor for additional testing.

Why is early detection important?

Quickly finding this type of cancer gives you a better chance of beating it. In fact, the survival rates for oral cancer when it’s found in its early stages jumps to 80-90%.

Conversely, oral cancer can get worse and become harder to treat in more advanced stages. It might also spread to other parts of your body.

What does an oral cancer screening involve?

Dr. Wu does a physical examination to check for signs of oral cancer in your mouth. She also uses the Fidalab system to test for the presence of HPV, which is responsible for causing the majority of throat cancers.

The Fidalab screening involves testing a saliva sample for HPV. Dr. Wu will let you know what the results of your screening are when they’re available.

How often do I need an oral cancer screening?

You should have an oral cancer screening once a year to detect this disease as early as possible.

Waiting longer in between screenings means you could have this type of cancer in the early stages without realizing it. Annual screenings catch this cancer early so that you can start treatment promptly.

If it’s time for a routine cleaning and exam, please contact Issaquah Premier Dental in Issaquah, Washington, to make an appointment with Dr. Wu. Keep in mind that your exam includes an oral cancer screening.  

Insurance Providers

We believe your billing should be as convenient as your dental visit. We make sure everything is transparent and clearly explained to you before anything is agreed upon. We accept a variety of payment methods: Care Credit and Lending Club, a patient payment program offering a full range of Deferred Interest and Extended Payment Plans for treatment.

Delta Dental
Principal Dental
United Concordia Dental

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Issaquah Premier Dental
1740 NW Maple St, Suite 209
Issaquah, WA 98027
Phone: 425-654-8601
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