Dental Health and Other Symptoms of Cancer

The team at Comprehensive Cancer Centers is well attuned to looking out for signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of cancer. This holds true not only for our patients in our care, but also for the community as a whole. It is good practice to be familiar with your own body and to be on the lookout for anything changing for you and your loved one’s personal health.

Some of the more common health issues that people dismiss and don’t get looked at involve issues with teeth, eyes and skin. Each of these parts of the body can also have cancer, which often goes undiagnosed.

The practice understands that many people are conditioned to tough things out, and to not want to bother family or even physicians when not feeling well, but there’s no reason not to be serious, and even somewhat selfish, about your health. This, as for many illnesses, including cancer, the earlier something is found, the more likely the better the outcomes are for treatment.

Dental Health & Cancer

For teeth and dental health, a study referenced in Science showed that bacteria that causes periodontitis, a disease affecting the tissues surrounding the teeth, appears to play a part in the onset of pancreatic cancer. The study shows the existence of a mechanism on the molecular level through which the bacteria associated with periodontitis, Treponema denticola, may also have an effect on the onset of cancer. Researchers found that the primary virulence factor of this bacteria, the Td-CTLP proteinase (an enzyme), occurs also in malignant tumors of the gastrointestinal tract, for example, in pancreatic cancer.

This study shows that when you have a tooth ache or jaw pain, this could be a sign or symptom of other illnesses. The good news is that, through regular dental checkups and cleanings, these risks can be vastly reduced. Comprehensive follows general dental guidelines that suggest at least two times per year everyone should visit their dentist.

Eye Discomfort & Cancer

While rare, cancer can affect the eyes, it does occur and its signs and symptoms are ones that can also be easily dismissed as discomfort, which is just part of life living in a dry and dusty desert. There are not always obvious symptoms for eye cancer, and it is most likely to be picked up during a routine eye test. Possible symptoms of eye cancer include:

  • Bulging of one eye
  • Complete or partial loss of sight
  • Pain in or around the eye (rare with eye cancer)
  • Pale raised lump on the surface of the eye (the conjunctiva or cornea)
  • Blurred vision
  • Change in the appearance of the eye and/or a lump on the eyelids or around the eye.
  • Seeing spots or flashes of light or wiggly lines in front of your eyes
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Dark spot on the iris that is getting bigger
  • Eye irritation, red eye or chronic inflammation/conjunctivitis

As with dental health, getting regular eye exams and checkup should be part of everyone’s personal health maintenance plan. With regular eye exams, for instance, doctors can see and track changes regularly, which allow for quicker recognition of changes which could indicate illnesses, such as cancer.

Skin Changes & Cancer

Another type of cancer that can be missed, overlooked or ignored is skin cancer. It’s another part of desert life where people can think changes to their skin are just a part of being in the sun all year long.  As with dental and eye care, getting annual skin screenings is something everyone who calls Las Vegas and Nevada home should put on their calendar every year. Skin health is also something that can be monitored on your own. One should add into their regular schedule doing self-checks to look out for anomalies. When you are examining yourself, or loved ones, for any skin abnormalities, be sure to remember and follow the ABCDE checklist:

  • Asymmetry: One half of a mole does not match the other half
  • Border irregularity: The edges of a mole are ragged or notched
  • Color: The color of a mole is not the same all over. There may be shades of tan, brown or black and sometimes patches of red, white or blue
  • Diameter: A mole is wider than one half of an inch
  • Evolution: Change of the mole over time

If you do find anything with your skin, as well as your teeth or eyes, you find troubling, be sure to check with your healthcare providers. And if cancer does present, be sure to insist on seeing the Comprehensive Cancer Centers oncology team for treatment.

Comprehensive Cancer Centers Can Help

Physicians at Comprehensive Cancer Centers provide a variety of treatment options for cancer , serous blood disorders, breast health conditions, pulmonary disease, sleep medicine and clinical research. To schedule an appointment with the team at Comprehensive, please call 702-952-3350.


The content is this post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.