Oral Cancer, What To Know
What Does Oral Cancer Look Like?
Be on the lookout for:
- Unusual sores, swelling or thickened skin in the mouth or throat
- White or red lesions on lips or mouth
- A lump in your throat that won’t go away
- Numbness or pain in the mouth
- Ear pain
- Loss of jaw, tongue or throat mobility
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
Who Is at Increased Risk of Oral Cancer?
Men are 2X as likely to get oral cancers. But studies have not clearly determined if this is because men are more likely to drink and smoke heavily.
People over 55 are more likely to get oral cancers. But this doesn’t rule out younger people if they have other risk factors.
Lifestyle is the biggest factor.
- 70% of those with oral cancer drink heavily.
- 80% of oral cancer patients use tobacco. At this time, e-cigs are still being evaluated by scientists.
- People who work outside have greater risk of lip cancers due to UV exposure.
- A diet low in fruits and vegetables increases risk. They may be deficient in vital cancer-fighting antioxidants and nutrients.
Additionally, left untreated, HPV a sexually-transmitted infection can lead to mouth cancer.
How to Get Screened for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer screenings are a normal part of your trip to the dentist. Unlike your primary doctor, your dentist takes an up-close look in your mouth. They can catch cancer early for a better outcome. There’s just one more reason to keep those 6-month appointments. Schedule your dental appointment today with Dentistry on Carmel, Mary Katherine Moore, DMD.