With more than 40 years of dentistry experience, Dr. Grant Hinze has treated a variety of dental and oral issues. Cancer is one of those.
Dr. Hinze noticed oral cancer in a patient just a few weeks ago. A few years ago, he saw three patients all within three weeks who all had symptoms of oral cancer.
With April being Oral Cancer Awareness month, Dr. Hinze encourages his patients to be aware of the symptoms of the disease and to take any precautions they can to avoid it.
Symptoms could include any of the following:
- A lump in the cheek or under the tongue that doesn’t go away after 10 days. The lump may be white, brown or any color, but most are white.
- A change in pigmentation or color inside the cheek, on the tongue or on the lips that lasts longer than 10 days.
- The feeling of a lump stuck in your throat.
Dr. Hinze said some behaviors give patients a higher chance of having oral cancer, including:
- Smoking a pipe. He has seen cancer form in the exact area of the mouth where the pipe rested.
- Smoking or chewing tobacco. These behaviors increase cancers to the throat the palate.
- Excessive sun exposure to the lips.
However, some patients develop oral cancer despite never having smoked or having other risk factors.
The key to survival is early detection. Dr. Hinze performs oral cancer examinations during routine check-ups by visually checking your teeth, gums, tongue, lips and face. He may also check the neck and jaw area.
Schedule your check-up and oral cancer screening today by calling Dr. Hinze’s office at (308) 995-5331.