Oral Cancer Screening: Your Best Defense Now
Over 43,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer every year. Oral cancer can be particularly dangerous because in its earliest stages, it may not be noticed, and often can prosper without producing pain or easily recognizable symptoms. The early stages of oral cancer can easily be mistaken for a toothache or a cold. Common signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Persistent mouth sores that don’t heal (This is the most common symptom of oral cancer)
- Persistent mouth pain
- A lump or thickening of the cheek
- Persistent bad breath
- A lump in the neck
- Dramatic or unintended weight loss
- Loosening of the teeth
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing or moving of the tongue
- Numbness of the tongue
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
- Sore throat or the feeling that something is caught in your throat that doesn’t go away
- Numbness of the tongue or mouth
If you find that symptoms persist for a week or more, come into Montee and Montee Dental for an oral examination and cancer screening. Early detection offers the greatest chance of survival. Though anyone can get oral cancer, some factors may affect and increase your likelihood of developing this disease. According to the American Cancer Society, men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women, and men over 50 are at the greatest risk. Other oral cancer risk factors include:
- Tobacco use. About 80% of people with oral cavity cancers use tobacco through smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco or snuff. Avoiding any type of tobacco use helps to reduce your risk of oral cancer.
- Alcohol use. Around 70% of those diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers. Avoiding alcohol helps to reduce your risk of oral cancer.
- Previous cancer diagnosis or family history of cancer
- Excessive sun exposure to the lips, especially at a young age.
Montee and Montee Dental is dedicated to identifying oral cancer early, when there is a greater possibility for a cure. Cancer screenings are just one way to detect cancer early and give you the best chance of survival. Oral exams, blue-dye rinses, and special light examinations are just part of the array of potential life-giving cancer screenings available. If you are at high risk for oral cancer, don’t wait. Contact Montee and Montee Dental today.