April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month!

Published on April 22, 2015 by

Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month we would like to discuss the benefits of having a screening once a year.

Statistics

  • About 39,500 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer.
  • An estimated 7,500 people will die of these cancers.
  • These cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women.

Risk Factors

  • Tobacco and Alcohol use
  • Sun Exposure
  • Diet
  • HPV infection

Signs and Symptoms

Cancer can affect any part of the oral cavity including the lips, tongue, mouth and throat. There are 2 kinds of oral cancer: oral cavity cancer and oropharyngeal cancer.

  • A sore in the mouth that does not heal (most common symptom)
  • Pain in the mouth that doesn’t go away (also very common)
  • A lump or thickening in the cheek
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth
  • A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat that doesn’t go away
  • Trouble chewing or swallowing
  • Trouble moving the jaw or tongue
  • Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth
  • Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
  • Loosening of the teeth or pain around the teeth or jaw
  • Voice changes
  • A lump or mass in the neck
  • Weight loss
  • Constant bad breath

 

Many of these signs and symptoms can also be caused by things other than cancer, or even by other cancers. Still, it is very important to see a doctor or dentist if any of these conditions lasts more than 2 weeks so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

(American Cancer Society)

 

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