It Is Important that You Are Aware of Oral Cancer | Dumas Dentist

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Whether or not you are aware, April is oral cancer awareness month. Not one of the more popular versions of cancer, awareness is very low but approximately 49,750 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year. If you break it down, that 132 new people in the US EVERY DAY will be newly diagnosed with an oral cancer, and that one person EVERY HOUR OF THE DAY, 24/7/365 will die from it. It’s high time that we make ourselves aware, don’t you think?

Smoking and tobacco use are the obvious reasons behind oral cancer development, but the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals due to the connection to the HPV virus. And since we cannot stop this virus from spreading, it’s important to save lives is with professional involvement and public awareness. In fact, the American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every 3 years for persons over age 20 and annually for those over age 40.

The first thing we need to know about oral cancer are the symptoms. If you notice any of these symptoms, be sure to make an appointment with your dentist to schedule a visit:

  • Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • Ear pain
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
  • Dramatic weight loss

Yes, there are quite a few symptoms that could possibly be the beginnings of oral cancer, but prevention is key. Here are ways to prevent oral cancer:

  • Don’t smoke or use any tobacco products and drink alcohol in moderation.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun. Repeated exposure increases the risk of cancer on the lip, so use UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on your skin, as well as your lips.
  • See your dentist on a regular basis. You should conduct self-exams, but there are times spots or sores in the mouth can be very tiny and difficult to see on your own. During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment.

For more information on oral cancer screenings, call Dumas Family Dentistry at , 806-935-2725 or visit our website at http://www.dumastexasdentist.com or come in to discuss in detail what treatment options are right for you.

Dumas Family Dentistry proudly serves Dumas, TX and all surrounding areas.

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