APRIL IS ORAL CANCER AWARENESS month.
Did you know that in 2012 close to 40,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer. It will cause over 8,000 deaths, killing roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours per day. Of those 40,000 newly diagnosed individuals, only slightly more than half will be alive in 5 years.
However, early detection boosts the survival rate to 80–90%.
While oral cancer does affect people who smoke and drink more frequently, close to 25% of people diagnosed with oral cancer have no lifestyle risk factors.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, if you experience any of the following symptoms, you should have one of our dentists take a look:
- A sore inside your mouth that doesn’t heal within two weeks
- A lump or thickening of your cheek
- A white or red patch on any part of your inner mouth or throat
- Chronic difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw
- Numbness inside your mouth
- Jaw swelling
There may be other causes for these symptoms, but having them checked by our dentists can explain the cause, and ensure that there is nothing for you to worry about.
Early detection is the key to survival – the best offense is a great defense… coming in for your regularly scheduled recare appointment allows us to complete an oral cancer screening exam and helps us to detect any health problems early.
We want to keep you and your loved ones as healthy as possible. Let us know if you have any questions about oral cancer or any of the symptoms mentioned above. And please share this information with someone you know! It may just save a life!
Click on the link below to hear the story of 2 oral cancer survivors.