Oral Cancer Awareness

Understanding Oral Cancer

With April being Oral Cancer Awareness month, we would like to take this opportunity to discuss what exactly oral cancer is and how to prevent it. Oral cancer develops red sores and lumps within the mouth that do not heal with time. Unfortunately, oral cancer is very common within the U.S. “about 50,000 people in the U.S. get oral cancer each year” (WebMD). With oral cancer being so prevalent in our world, it is important that you understand, the signs, symptoms, and next steps regarding it.

What Does Oral Cancer Look Like?

Oral cancer can come with many symptoms and look many ways but catching these signs early can result in a much easier treatment.

Signs of oral cancer include:

– Struggling to chew/swallow

– Pain or pressure in the throat area

– Random bleeding in the mouth

– Red or white spots within the mouth

– Sores that don’t heal

– Swelling or pain in the jaw

It is important to be aware of all of these signs and symptoms and contact your dentist immediately if you have any concerns.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Oral can result from things such as tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, HPV, poor diet, family history, age, and even gender. Studies show that men are twice as likely as women to face oral cancer, but the highest risk overall occurs in men over the age of 50. While men over the age of 50 may have the highest risk of oral cancer, it is important to understand that anyone can get oral cancer, even if they live a healthy lifestyle. Be aware of these signs, minimize your intake, and see a Dentist as needed, to help yourself have good overall oral health. 

What’s Next?

If you have noticed any of these symptoms, be sure to make a dental appointment as soon as possible to discuss your concerns with your designated care team. The key to treating oral cancer quickly is by catching it early. Be aware of your oral health and be sure to schedule routine dental checkups as recommended by your provider.