What do you know about oral cancer? Lucky for you, April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and its purpose is to get more information to every one of the facts about oral cancer. The Oral Cancer Foundation states approximately 51,550 people in the United States have a diagnosis of oral cancer in this year and nearly 132 new cases of mouth cancer.
Imagine how many of this number could have been saved if they would have the facts of oral cancer to look before their diagnosis?
What is Oral Cancer?
A simple definition of it is cancer developing in any part of your mouth, but oral cancer comes in two categories.
The categories are the following:
- Oral cavity: This includes your lips and the inside of them, cheeks, gums, front two-thirds of your tongue, teeth, and the roof and floor of your mouth.
- Oropharynx: The middle area of your throat, including the base of your tongue and your tonsils.
Many death cases of oral cancer aren’t necessarily due to firm diagnosis, but instead, it was discovered too late in its stages to help cure it.
The signs of oral cancer to look for are the following:
- Change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
- Sore or irritation in your mouth which happens to not go away
- Difficulty swallowing, speaking, chewing, or moving your jaw or tongue
- Numbness and tenderness in your lips or mouth
- White or red patches in your mouth
- Small eroded area or a thickening lump
Facts about Oral Cancer
This April, make a priority to learn more about your oral health with a dental visit or maintaining good dental hygiene. Most cases of oral cancer have an opportunity for prevention, so your dentist can help you see your chances of obtaining this type of cancer.
80-90 percent survival rate
Oral cancer has a high rate of survival if it is caught earlier on, which is a significant percentage for a type of cancer. If early detection helps many from making it through oral disease, it is crucial to have your dentist check you for any signs of it.
How your dentist detects oral cancer
During a dental routine, your dentist looks at your cheek lining, lips, the front of your tongue, and gums to see if any signs of oral cancer. They also ask you before your exam if you’ve experienced any abnormal symptoms.
If they do find a sign of oral cancer, they refer you to a specialist for further testing to see if it is a sure symptom or something non-threatening. An additional exam with your dentist a couple of weeks after your trial happens to evaluate the test results and build a strategy for treatment and prevention if needed.
Some of the factors of oral cancer are men are more likely to obtain oral cancer than women, and excessive alcohol drinkers and smokers older than 50 years old are at high risk of obtaining it.
One of the new facts about oral cancer has shown the sexually transmitted HPV as a connection to throat cancers occurring in the back of the mouth. The neck and head cancer associated with HPV are more common than the cancers caused by smoking.
Visit Your Dentist this April for Oral Cancer Awareness Month
It is always essential for you to visit your dentist for preventative dental care, but it is more critical in April to help you with oral cancer awareness. Schedule a consultation with our dentist today!