At each one of your twice-yearly dental checkups, Dr. Anderson or Dr. Moreno will conduct an oral cancer screening in San Antonio, TX. Like any other type of cancer screening, this is designed to spot early warning signs before the cancer develops. One of the types of cancers we look for is called verrucous carcinoma. Let’s take a closer look at what verrucous carcinoma is, how it starts and how it is treated.
What is verrucous carcinoma?
Verrucous carcinoma is a rare type of squamous cell carcinoma, which a skin cancer. This cancer is most commonly seen among those who chew tobacco or orally use snuff, which is smokeless tobacco. For this reason, verrucous carcinoma is sometimes called “snuff dipper’s cancer.”
What does verrucous carcinoma look like?
This rare type of cancer is marked by external lesions that look a bit like a small piece of cauliflower. The lesions are usually found at a location on the skin where there is chronic irritation or inflammation. The lips and other parts of the mouth are the most common sites for verrucous carcinoma, along with the larynx, throat and nasal cavity.
As mentioned, chewing tobacco presents a notable risk factor for this kind of cancer. Add alcohol consumption and the risk increases. If verrucous carcinoma develops in the mouth, then a hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing or a sore throat may be less hidden signs.
In addition to tobacco and alcohol, inflammation also seems to play a role in the development of verrucous carcinoma. This type of cancer is often found at sites of chronic inflammation or scarring.
How is verrucous carcinoma treated?
Fortunately, verrucous carcinoma is one type of cancer that is treatable and highly curable if diagnosed and treated by:
- Surgery to remove the cancer
- Possible radiation therapy
- A healthy diet
- Sufficient rest
- Eliminating the habit of smoking and chewing tobacco
This is a slow growing cancer, but don’t delay seeing your 78254 dentist if you see a cauliflower-like lesion on your lips or in your mouth, or any other type of sore that won’t heal.
Call Our Office Today
If you are due for a six-month checkup with the dentist in 78254, then contact Alamo Springs Dental in San Antonio, TX. Our checkups include an oral cancer screening to ensure both your oral and overall health.