April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and it marks the importance of being knowledgeable about the warning signs around having oral cancer. Before you think this won’t affect you, note that this disease affects around 54,000 people in the US per year and the equivalent of one person per hour dies of this type of cancer that affects your lips, tongue, cheeks and throat. Instead of overlooking the signs, it’s important to be aware of them, as if caught early, this type of cancer can be very treatable.
How Do You Know If you Have Oral Cancer
As per the guidance of the ADA, we recommend visiting our dental office in Rosslyn twice a year for your dental exam and cleaning. This is your first layer of early detection as our expert doctors and hygienists will provide you with a pain-free oral cancer screening as part of your check-up. The other thing to do is read up on the symptoms of oral cancer below so that you can self monitor for any of these issues. If they last for more than a week or two, please don’t hesitate to give us a call to discuss — we might recommend for you to come to our dental practice in Arlington before your next scheduled appointment to review your symptoms.
The 7 Symptoms of Oral Cancer You Should Be Aware Of
A lump or lumps in your cheek
Difficulty swallowing or chewing
The feeling of having something stuck in your throat
Difficulty moving your jaw or tongue
Swelling in your neck
Unexpected weight loss
Constant bad breath despite good oral hygiene
Who is at Risk of Oral Cancer?
There are several factors that can increase your likelihood of getting oral cancer, so it’s important to:
Limit smoking or the use tobacco products
Limit your alcohol consumption
If you have Human papillomavirus (HPV) you are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer, so if you can get the vaccine it is helpful
Limit your exposure to the sun on your lips
Be more aware as a male as you are twice as likely to get oral cancer
As with a lot of other cancers, it’s important to have a balanced and healthy diet to decrease your risk of developing oral cancer
Brush and floss your teeth twice a day
Please contact your Rosslyn dentist if you have any questions or concerns about potential symptoms of oral cancer. We are here to provide you with information and support around oral cancer.