Oral Cancer Awareness Month
By Ann R. Sielicki, DDS on April 26, 2018
According to the American Cancer Society, more than 51,000 people will be diagnosed with oral and throat cancers this year. The society also reports that the five-year survival rate is currently at about 60 percent.
When detected early, oral cancer is very treatable. In honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Scottsdale dental practice Sonoran Dental Design shares important information on oral cancer, including symptoms to look out for and the importance of oral cancer screenings.
Oral Cancer: Who Is at Risk?
Anyone can get oral cancer. The following factors heighten one’s risk of developing the disease:
Age: Individuals age 55 and older are more likely to be diagnosed with oral cancer.
Gender: Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women.
Tobacco: Smoking and other tobacco use drastically increases one’s risk of oral cancer.
Alcohol: Seven out of 10 oral cancer patients are heavy drinkers. What’s more, individuals that combine alcohol and tobacco use are 15 times more likely to develop oral cancer.
HPV: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 9,000 cases of cancer occurring at the back of the tongue, and in or around the tonsils, are diagnosed each year in the United States.
The following can be signs of oral cancer:
- Soreness or irritation on the lip or in the mouth
- Red or white patches on the gums, tongue, tonsils or lining of the mouth
- Pain, numbness or tenderness in the mouth or lips
- A lump in the throat or mouth
- Hoarseness, numbness in the throat or change in voice
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing or moving the tongue and/or jaw
- Swelling of the jaw
Why Oral Cancer Screenings are Important
Many cases of oral cancer do not produce any visible symptoms. For this reason, you are encouraged to undergo oral cancer screenings regularly so your dentist can check for changes in your face, head, neck, tongue and jaw. If an abnormality is detected, a small biopsy will be taken so it can be sent to a lab for clinical diagnosis.
Contact Sonoran Dental Design Today
Oral cancer screenings are performed at the time of your dental checkup. To schedule yours with Sonoran Dental Design, please contact us by calling (480) 419-9595 today.
“Dr. Sielicki and her staff are professional and I immediately felt comfortable. My teeth look fantastic. I could not be more pleased with the outcome.” Emily