Fact: Oral cancer kills someone in the U.S. every hour.
Fact: Oral cancer claims more lives than cervical cancer, brain cancer, skin cancer and Hodgkin’s disease.
Fact: Most people don’t know the signs or symptoms of oral cancer.
Fact: Dentists play a crucial role in detecting oral cancer.
Our jobs here at the office are not only to clean and look after patients’ teeth, but to also be on the look out for oral cancer.
We examine all of our patients for signs of disease in the mouth. Oral cancer exams are quick and painless. We use just a tiny piece of gauze to move the tongue from side-to-side to look for lesions or any tissue discoloration.
Like many cancers, the key to surviving oral cancer is early detection. Detecting oral cancer in its early stages is imperative and can dramatically increase the five-year survival rate up approximately to 81%.
Furthermore, we like to educate our patients about signs and symptoms of oral cancers. Symptoms, like:
- Red or white spots that appear on the gums, cheeks or under the tongue.
- Swelling of the tongue or throat.
- A lump in the mouth or neck.
- Painful or difficulty swallowing or chewing.
- Numbness in the mouth region.
- Vocal hoarseness that lasts for an extended time.
- Tiny marks that resemble canker sores.
- Sores that bleed and don’t heal (in later stages).
Who is at risk?
Oral cancer is most common in men, African Americans, adults over 40, smokers and heavy alcohol drinkers. However, one out of four
cases occur in non-smokers and people under age 30. Other causes include too much sun exposure to the lips and poor diet.
Also read: Smokers More Vulnerable to Disease
If you believe you’re at risk for oral cancer, or think you should be examined immediately -contact our office for the next available appointment.