Do You Know the Risk Factors for Oral Cancer?
Did you know an estimated 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year in the United States, and there is a death from oral cancer once every hour?
(Source: American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons).
Know Your Risk Factors:
- Tobacco Use
- Smoking cigarettes, pipes, cigars, or using snuff, chew, or smokeless tobacco
- Alcohol Use (especially when you use tobacco at same time)
- Exposure to Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
- Physical Trauma
- Infectious Diseases
- Poor Oral Hygiene
- Poor Nutrition
What You Can Do:
- Check out this infographic from American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
- Perform monthly self-exams at home.
- After removing any dentures, look and feel inside your lips, in front of your gums, tongue, and on the roof of your mouth. Feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes in your neck and under your jaw. Note any red or white patches, a sore that fails to heal, abnormal lump or thickening of tissue, a chronic sore throat/hoarseness, difficulty chewing or swallowing, or a lump in your neck.
- See your dentist for exams at least twice per year.
- You dentist is in the best position to detect oral cancer during your routine dental examinations. All dentists in our office conduct an oral cancer screening each time you see them for an exam.
Early detection is KEY for treating oral cancer, so make sure you are seen for your regular dental exams and screenings twice per year!