Like any disease, oral cancer is serious business. It’s the sixth most common cancer in men worldwide and almost two-thirds of cases are in advanced stages by the time they are detected.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer refers to cancers of the lip, tongue, floor of the mouth, tonsils, and soft palate.
If you notice any sores, swelling or discolorations that do not heal on their own after two weeks it is important that you consult your dentist. Early detection can greatly increase your chances of a full and speedy recovery.
Risk Factors of Oral Cancer
Most oral cancer cases are linked to smoking. Longtime tobacco users are at highest risk. Heavy drinking can also increase your risk of oral cancer, but it is the combination of tobacco use and heavy drinking which really causes your risk to skyrocket. It has been estimated that this combination can cause up to a 100-fold increase in your risk of oral cancer.
Men are about twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer and the average age at the time of diagnosis is 62 years.
Remember, early detection is vitally important to fighting oral cancer so contact me immediately if you notice any irregularities that do not disappear within two weeks.
I also provide an oral cancer screening exam at each of your preventative care dental visits.