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Oral Cancer

About Oral Cancer

Oral cancer affects the mouth and the pharynx (the back of the throat). Oral cancer accounts for roughly two percent of all cancers diagnosed annually in the United States. Approximately 35,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer each year, and about 7,600 will die from the disease. On average, 60 percent of those with the disease will survive more than five years. Oral cancer most often occurs in people over 40 and affects more than twice as many men as women.

What are the risk factors?

  1. Tobacco and alcohol use – Most cases of oral cancer are linked to cigarette smoking, heavy alcohol use, or the use of both tobacco and alcohol altogether. Your risks of developing oral cancer significantly increase if you use both tobacco and alcohol
  2. HPV – Infection with the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (specifically the HPV 16 type) has been linked to a subset of oral cancers
  3. Age – Oral cancer most often occurs in people over the age of 40
  4. Sun exposure – Cancer of the lip can be caused by sun exposure.
  5. Diet – Diet low in fruits and vegetables may play a role in oral cancer development.

Possible Signs & Symptoms

See a dentist or physician if any of the following symptoms lasts for more than two weeks.

  • A sore, irritation, lump or thick patch in your mouth, lip, or throat
  • White or red patch in your mouth
  • Feeling like something is caught in your throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Challenges moving your jaw or tongue
  • Numbness in your tongue or other areas of your mouth
  • Swelling of your jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
  • Pain in one ear without hearing loss

Early Detection

It is important to find oral cancer as early as possible when it can be treated more successfully. During your routine dental check-up, an oral examination by your dentist or dental hygienist can detect early signs of cancer. The exam is painless and takes only a few minutes. During the exam, your dentist or dental hygienist will check your face, neck, lips, and entire mouth for any signs of cancer.

Contact Campus Dentist today and schedule your next appointment. Our team will thoroughly examine your mouth and answer any questions that you may have about oral cancer.

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