During the month of April the dental community along with the Oral Cancer Foundation join in an effort to raise awareness of oral cancer to help fight this serious and often overlooked disease.
Facts about Oral Cancer
- Over 48,000 Americans will be diagnosed with OC this year alone
- Every hour of every day someone will die of OC in the U.S.
- More people die of OC than from cervical cancer or melanoma.
- Only onhalf of those diagnosed with OC will survive more than five years
- Oral Cancer is highly treatable in its early stages
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
- Smoking and smokeless tobacco use.
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Excessive exposure to sun (lip cancer)
- The HPV virus
Recognizing the Symptoms
- Sores in the mouth that bleed easily or do not heal
- A lump, thickening, swelling, rough spot, crust, or eroded area
- Numbness, pain or tenderness
- Red or white patches on the oral tissues
- A change in the way the teeth fit together when you bite
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
Early Detection is the Key
When found early, oral cancer is highly treatable with an 80-90% survival rate. Self examination and regular examinations by your dentist are the best ways to insure early detection. At the Furey Dental Group we routinely perform a thoughrogh oral cancer screening at every dental exam.
Remember, prevention and early detection are the key. So, know the warning signs for oral cancer, reduce or eliminate risky behavior, periodically perform a self exam, and have you mouth examined regularly by your dentist to protect yourself against this potential killer.