What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer Risks & How Your Dentist Can Help
Did you know that oral and upper throat cancer kills nearly one person every hour of every day?
Unfortunately, only 60% of those diagnosed with these cancers will survive for longer than 5 years. The death rate is high because oral cancer is often discovered late in its development.
These are sobering statistics that you may not have heard much about. However, it’s important that you know the facts about oral cancer so you can be properly screened and prepared to catch it early.
At Kellerman Dental, we include oral cancer screenings as part of every exam. Fortunately, we’ve discovered early symptoms in our patients in Glen Carbon and Edwardsville that have allowed them to seek treatment early with a positive prognosis for recovery.
Oral Cancer Facts
You might be surprised by some of the contributing risk factors for oral cancer.
For example, did you know that men are twice as likely to develop this cancer than women? Also, those carrying HPV (often unknowingly) are at an increased risk for oral cancer?
Our colleagues at the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) have put together a really interesting infographic sharing some great oral cancer facts:
Know the Signs of Potential Oral Cancer
According to the AAOMS, the very best action you can take when it comes to oral cancer detection is to maintain regular visits to your dentist (and ensure they are performing a screening each time). However, there are signs and symptoms you should know as well from the Oral Cancer Foundation:
- Any sore or ulceration that does not heal within 14 days.
- A red, white, or black discoloration of the soft tissues of the mouth.
- Any abnormality that bleeds easily when touched.
- A lump or hard spot in the tissue, usually border of the tongue.
- Tissue raised above that which surrounds it; a growth.
- A sore under a denture, which even after adjustment of the denture, that does not heal.
- A lump or thickening that develops in the mouth.
- A painless, firm, fixated lump felt on the outside of the neck, that has been there for at least two weeks.
- All these symptoms have the commonality of being persistent and not resolving.
If you have any concerns related to the above symptoms, contact your dentist or primary care doctor immediately.
If you have questions about oral cancer risks or any aspect of your health, we’re always here to help at Kellerman Dental! Give us a call or inquire with Dr. Kellerman during your next visit.