Over the last several years, there has been an increase in the number of people diagnosed with mouth and throat cancers. With early detection, the prognosis of oral cancer can be better with the reduction of treatment-related health problems and increased survival rates.

The main goal of oral cancer screening is early identification of cancerous or precancerous cells which might later progress into mouth cancer . Early detection makes it much easier to remove the cells and stay cancer free.

The Doctors at Michels & Gauquie will perform an oral cancer screening exam to look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth at your next dental cleaning appointment.


It is important to know the factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer so that you can assess your own risk.

There are various factors and causes that are responsible for oral cancer, such as

  • Tobacco consumption in the form of cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff, among others.
  • Heavy alcohol use.
  • Previous diagnosis of oral cancer.
  • History of significant sun exposure, increasing the risk of lip cancer.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • Malnourishment or poor diet lacking necessary nutrients also increase your risk.

Signs & Symptoms

If you are experiencing one or more of these signs and symptoms, immediately consult your dentist.

  • Oral sore or ulcer that does not heal within 2 weeks.
  • Red or white discolored soft tissues areas in the mouth.
  • Any abnormal growth or patch that bleeds easily on touching.
  • A lump or hard spot in the tissue, usually the border of the tongue or floor of the mouth.
  • Raised tissue between normal tissue structure.
  • Tender or sore area under a denture, that doesn’t heal even after adjustment of the denture.
  • An abnormal growth lump or thickening that wasn’t previously present.
  • A painless, firm, fixated lump on the outside of the neck, that has been there for at least 2 weeks.
  • Difficulty swallowing.

All these symptoms share a commonality of being persistent and unresolving.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month raises awareness for oral cancers and to remind the public that early detection and treatment can reduce risk.If you haven’t ever had an oral cancer examination, there is no better time to schedule one than today at Michels and Gauquie. This month, make detection and prevention of oral cancer a priority.