THIS YEAR ALONE, 400,000 people throughout the world will be diagnosed with oral cancer. 40% of those diagnosed won’t live another five years. Oral cancer has such a dismal survival rate because it’s usually not detected until very late in its progression. Because April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we’re encouraging everyone to get screened this year during their regularly scheduled checkups.
What’s Your Advice For Reducing The Risk Of Oral Cancer?
For teenagers, we try to discuss prevention of risky habits like smoking & alcohol consumption. For everyone, it’s best to use a lip balm with SPF in it for reduction of sun exposure. Dr. Stephen checks for signs of oral cancer at every check up. He asks every child to stick out their tongue. Oral cancer tends to be start on the side of the tongue, so we keep a look out for that. We ask your child to say “ah” so that we can see the tissue of the tongue and mouth to make sure it looks healthy.
Early Detection Is SO Important
Early oral cancer detection can boost survival rates to 80–90%! One of the reasons oral cancer goes undetected is because many of the symptoms are not painful. If anyone in your family experiences any of the following symptoms, please let us know right away:
- A lump or thickening of your cheek
- A white or red patch on any part of your inner mouth or throat
- A sore inside your mouth that doesn’t heal within two weeks
- Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw
- Numbness inside your mouth
- Chronic difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Jaw swelling
The Best Offense Is A Good Defense
Keep regularly scheduled cleaning appointments and screenings. Doing so GREATLY increases the likelihood that any problems will be detected early. It’s worth it.
Blythe Danner on Oral Cancer:
As your trusted, lifelong oral health partner, we want to keep you and your loved ones as healthy as possible. Let us know if you have questions about oral cancer or any of the symptoms mentioned above. And share this information with someone you love!