APRIL IS ORAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

APRIL IS ORAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH

Oral Cancer

 

SYMPTOMS OF ORAL CANCER

 

There are several things to look for so performing a monthly self-check can mean an earlier diagnosis with

a better outcome. Using a bright light and mirror, be sure to remove any dentures. Look and feel inside

your lips and the front of your gums. Tilt back your head and inspect and feel the roof of your mouth. Pull

your cheek out to see the inside surface and the back of your gums. Pull out your tongue and look at all of

the surfaces. Feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes (or glands) in both sides of your neck, including your

lower jaw. This is the best way to check for oral cancer at home.

 

Oral Cancer

Look for –

  • White patches (called leukoplakia)

  • Red patches (erythroplakia)

  • A sore or sores that fail to heal and bleed easily

  • Abnormal lumps or thickening of the tissues

  • A chronic sore throat or hoarseness

  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing

  • A mass or lump in the neck

 

If you notice any of these things, don’t panic, but be sure to make an appointment with your general

dentist, an oral surgeon or maxillofacial surgeon at the earliest opportunity. Early treatment is the key to a

complete recovery.

 

 

HOW CAN I AVOID ORAL CANCER?

 

Doing your best to follow the tips below can go a long way in helping to avoid oral cancer.

  • Brush and floss your teeth regularly

  • Do not smoke (or chew) any type of tobacco product

  • Drink alcohol in moderation (one to two drinks per day)

  • Limit your exposure to the sun. Use sunblock every day, including on your lips

  • Exercise regularly. An active lifestyle is known to boost the immune system and help ward off cancer

  • Choose cancer-fighting foods in your diet

  • How you prepare those foods is also important in the prevention of cancer. Replace frying and grilling with baking, boiling or steaming

  • See your dentist or dental hygienist regularly (at least every six months) and ask for an oral cancer screening to be done

 

 

There are some pretty alarming statistics associated with oral cancer. One person dies every hour of every

day of the year from oral and pharyngeal cancer (cancer of the mouth and upper throat). Only sixty percent

of newly diagnosed people will live longer than five years.  Many of those who survive deal with long-term

problems like severe facial disfigurement or difficulties eating and or talking. Men are twice as likely to get

oral cancer as women. The survival rate is low because it is typically diagnosed later in its development.

So while this is some pretty disturbing info, the flip side to this is that when caught early, oral cancer is

VERY treatable.

 

 

WHAT ARE RISK FACTORS FOR ORAL CANCER?

 

TOBACCO – Smoking cigarettes, pipes, cigars, snuff, chew and smokeless tobacco

ALCOHOL – especially when combined with tobacco

EXPOSURE to HPV – the sexually-transmitted, Human Papillomavirus (HPV16)

OTHER RISKS include physical trauma, infectious disease, poor oral hygiene and poor nutrition

THE HEALTH OF YOUR MOUTH IS THE KEY TO YOUR OVERALL HEALTH!

 

We already know that our mouths are the gateway to our bodies so a healthy mouth leads to a healthy

body.  Be aware of any changes in your mouth, especially if you have any of the risk factors associated with

oral cancer. At the earliest sign of change, make an appointment to see your dentist, or an oral surgeon.

Early detection is your best friend. Your health matters to us. If you have any questions concerning this

post, call us at (248) 357-3100 today.

 

We’re always happy to hear from our awesome patients!

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or

treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding

medical conditions.Remember Stay Happy, Stay Healthy, April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month!