April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month
When it comes to identifying potential warning signs of oral cancer, dentists are often the first ones to notice any abnormalities.
Oral cancer screenings are performed during your normal six month dental checkup, which is just another in the long list of reasons to see your dentist regularly. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, in addition to April 13th– 19th being National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Week.
KNOW THE RISK FACTORS
Oral cancer Can strike in the mouth and throat with most of these cancers beginning in the flat cells – squamous cells – that cover the surfaces of the mouth, tongue and lips. Some of the risk factors for oral cancer include:
- Tobaco use
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Infection with human papillomavirus
- Sun exposure
- Personal history of oral cancer
THE BODY’S EARLY WARNING SYSTEM
Early treatment may well be the key to complete oral cancer recovery. Visit your dentist or physician immediately if you have any of these symptoms:
- Patches inside the mouth or on the lips
- Sore on the mouth or lips that doesn’t heal
- Bleeding In the mouth
- Loose teeth
- Pain or difficulty swallowing
- Lump in the neck
- Numbness of lower lip and chin
- Persistent earache
Your mouth is one of your body’s most important early warning systems. Don’t ignore any suspicious lumps or sores that lst more than two weeks.
MORE THAN 21,000 MEN
In the United States annually receive oral cancer diagnoses, according to the National Cancer Institute.
MORE THAN 9,000 WOMEN
In the U.S. annually receive oral cancer diagnoses, according to NCI.
41,380 NEW CASES
Of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx in 2013 in the U.S. Resulting in 7,890 deaths, according to NCI.