We are all familiar with commonly known cancers such as breast cancer or lymphoma, but what about oral cancer? In honor of April being Oral Cancer Awareness Month, our dentist in Jefferson Park is dedicated to educating our patients about the dangers of oral cancer and the warning signs that it is developing.
Oral cancer collectively kills nearly one person every hour of every day, and of the people who are newly diagnosed with these cancers, only 60 percent will live longer than 5 years.
Being aware of the warning signs that oral cancer is developing is crucial in catching it in its early stages. If you notice that any of the following symptoms are around for longer than two weeks, it is important to schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible:
- White or red patches in the mouth
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
- A lingering sore or ulcer in the mouth or on the lips
- Tenderness, pain and lumps
- Difficulty moving the tongue or jaw
While the above symptoms are not a guarantee that oral cancer is developing, it is still important to get them checked out by a professional.
In order to reduce your risk of developing oral cancer, avoid consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and avoid tobacco altogether. You should also strive to maintain a healthy diet and to use sunscreen as often as possible. Schedule regular appointments with our dentist near Jefferson Park as well so that we can complete oral cancer screenings at least once a year.