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Oral Cancer Screening

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a serious disease and catching it early is important, which is why our patients receive regular oral cancer screenings. Mouth Healthy, a website of the American Dental Association (ADA), has an article on oral cancer which lists the following signs and symptoms to look for:

  • A sore or irritation that doesn’t go away
  • Red or white patches
  • Pain, tenderness or numbness in the mouth or lips
  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
  • Some people complain of a sore throat, feeling like something is caught in their throat, numbness, hoarseness or a change in voice. If you have any of these symptoms, let your dentist know, especially if you’ve had them for two weeks or more.

Oral Cancer Screening

Dr. Albers performs an oral cancer screening during our comprehensive new patient exam. These screenings continue when patients come to the office for twice yearly cleaning appointments. Both our hygiene staff and Dr. Albers perform this screening.  They examine the throat, cheeks, and base of the tongue, looking for any unusual swelling or discolorations. They palpate the lips, cheeks, and lymph nodes around the jaw, also looking for any unusual swelling or lumps. If anything suspicious is found, we refer patients to an oral surgeon or other specialist for further workup.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

Patients should also be aware of certain behaviors that are risk factors for oral cancer. Research shows that men are more likely than women to have oral cancer. Smokers and heavy drinkers are also at increased risk of developing oral cancer. Finally, there has been an increase of oral cancers related to the human papilloma virus (HPV), which is sexually transmitted. If you have any of these risk factors, make sure you have regular visits with your dentist to screen for this cancer.


Mark T. Albers, D.D.S.
My husband, Don, and I have been seeing Dr. Albers for around 20 years.  Dr. Albers is the kindest and most gentle dentist I have ever known.  Because of experiences in the past, I have had a great fear of going to a dentist.  Dr. Albers has gone a long way toward putting those fears to rest.  He understands, and treats my fears with gentleness and humor.  I appreciate his knowledge, and trust him completely.  We also appreciate Lee Ann, the hygienist we have seen for many years.  Linda, at the front desk is always so friendly, and that helps to put us at ease.

Contact Us

Mark T. Albers, D.D.S.
2155 Hollowbrook Drive
Suite 20
Colorado Springs, CO

(719) 634-8458