Did You Know? Oral Cancer is diagnosed in 50,000 Americans a year. Many more go undiagnosed.
April is oral cancer awareness month. With over 50,000 diagnoses a year, oral cancer is a high-risk dental health concern. Dr. Andrew Cobb encourages patients of all ages to get screened for oral cancer every year. Oral cancer can be highly treatable but remains one of the least diagnosed cancers until the later stages. Organizations such as the American Dental Association (ADA) participate in oral cancer awareness month in efforts to spread the word about the importance of oral cancer screenings.
ORAL CANCER SCREENINGS
All routine visits to our Washington, DC dentist office include a visual screening for oral cancer. However, even if you attend your biannual dental exams, if you ever notice any wounds or patches in your mouth that do not heal within a few days, be sure to schedule an appointment right away.
Signs of Oral Cancer May Include:
- Thickening of soft oral tissues
- Noticeable red or white patches in the mouth
- Numbness of the tongue
- Sore throat
- Swelling in the jaw area
- Change in the fit of dentures
- Difficulty swallowing
Oral cancer screenings are a painless and quick exam that lasts only two minutes. Two minutes that could save your life. Catching oral cancer early in development is essential in treating oral cancer effectively.
Patients At Risk: Factors for Oral Cancer
- Tobacco Use: Smoking, chewing or vaping tobacco products greatly increase your risk of developing oral cancer. Quit smoking and be sure to visit the dentist at least twice a year to help reduce your risk of oral cancer.
- Sex: Men are typically more likely than women to develop oral cancer. However, both men and women should be screened twice a year for oral cancer.
- HPV: HPV is on the rise. Patients who have been diagnosed with or exposed to HPV are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer.
- Your Age: Exposure to HPV has increased the rates of oral cancer in younger patients. Patients of all ages are susceptible to developing oral cancers.
- Alcohol Use: Recent studies are starting to prove that patients who consume large quantities of alcohol are more prone to oral cancer.
SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION
As your dentist, we consider ourselves a partner in your overall health care, that is why we provide oral cancer screenings. We work with patients to protect their oral and systemic health through comprehensive dental care.