Oral Cancer

Aug 27, 2021 | Dental Health

Oral Cancer Facts
This year nearly 54,000 people in America will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer — that’s 147 people every day. Yet even though it causes over 9,750 deaths a year—or about one person per
hour—oral cancer awareness in the U.S. remains low.

Although smoking and tobacco use are obvious high risk factors, the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy and non-smoking. This is due to the rise of HPV virus, a sexually transmitted disease.

Get Regular Screenings
If found early, oral cancers have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate. Certain symptoms may be a sign of oral cancer (please see list below), but it is important to remember that it may also be present without any obvious signs.

Dentists are often a first line of defense in detecting abnormalities that may indicate the presence of oral cancer. An oral cancer screening takes less than five minutes and is part of every dental exam
performed in our practice.

Symptoms
It is important to call our office if you notice any of these symptoms that do not go away within 2 weeks:

  • Painful or painless mouth ulcer that does not go away
  • White or red patches in your mouth or on your lips
  • A lump on the neck or jaw
  • Swelling within the mouth that refuses to go away
  • Numbness, pain or tenderness in the head or neck

Risk Factors

  • Infection with certain viruses such as HPV, a virus that also causes cervical cancer in women
  • Tobacco use
  • Drinking alcohol in excess
  • Excessive exposure to the harmful UV rays of the sun

As with many cancers, early detection is the key to successful treatment. Regular oral cancer screenings are an effective means of finding cancer at its early, highly curable stages.