According to statistics, more then 43 000 Americas were diagnosed with oral cancer in the past year. This is a devastating number and this is why it very important to learn how to recognize the signs, symptoms and how to prevent this type of cancer.
The first and most important step in detecting any type of cancer is its early detection. Fortunately, this type of cancer may be easily detected and prevented with regular dental exams on every six months. This is a simple but valuable test which can save your life.
Your dentist can easily notice the signs of cancer and send you to specialists who will give you the right therapy. The process of detecting cancer is called “oral cancer screening” and if detected in its early stage oral cancer in curable in 80% of the cases.
What is an oral cancer screening?
Oral cancer screening is an examination of the oral cavity which is consisted of inspection of all areas of the oral cavity and throat, review of the oral health history as well as overall health history and questioning. This process takes around 5 min but you will be safe for the next 6 months.
Oral cancer signs and symptoms
If you haven’t visited your dentist yet or you are waiting for the next examination, here is a list of the most common symptoms and signs of oral cancer so you can do self-check and be sure:
– Red or white patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue
– Swelling or thickening of areas inside the mouth
– Unexplained bleeding
– Sores on the face, neck, or mouth that do not heal
– Chronic sore throat
– A change in the way your dentures fit
– Suspicious lumps found by palpating your mouth, jaw, and neck
– Dramatic weight loss
Tips for oral cancer prevention
While oral cancer is prevalent, there are measures you can take to minimize your risk.
Here is a list of measures you can take in order to minimize or eliminate the risk of oral cancer.
– Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
– Limit or stop drinking alcohol.
– Avoid overexposure to the sun, and use sun protection on your skin and lips
– Practice safe sex
– Maintain a healthy diet
If you noticed some of the abovementioned symptoms don’t wait and visit your dentist immediately. He/she will know where to direct you and how to help you. If you want to stay on the safe side, practice the prevention tips we offer.