Oral Cancer: What You Need to Know

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Oral Cancer: What You Need to Know

April is National is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and Dr. Dan and the team at Great Plains Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Center care about you!

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Cancer can occur in the mouth, lips, tongue, and throat, as well as the salivary glands, pharynx, larynx and sinuses. It happens when cells develop mutations within their DNA. The mutations allow the cancer cells to grow and divide while healthy cells die out. Over time, these cancer cells can form into a tumor.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there was an estimated number of 45,780 new oral cavity and pharynx cancer cases in the United States in 2015.

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer:

Early detection is essential in combating oral cancer. Visit your doctor immediately if any of the following symptoms continue for more than two weeks:

  • Sores, lumps and swelling anywhere in or around your mouth or throat
  • Patches of red or white abrasions develop on your mouth or lips
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Numbness, pain or sensitivity anywhere in your mouth, tongue, or jaw
  • Difficulty with chewing, swallowing or speaking
  • Loose teeth

Oral Cancer Prevention:

You can lower your risk of oral cancer by avoiding tobacco products, excessive use of alcohol, and limiting sun exposure. Don’t forget to schedule regular physical and dental check-ups. As part of your dental examinations, your dentist screens for oral cancer by carefully examining your mouth, tongue, and neck. Early signs of mouth cancer can often be identified and treated before they become serious.

To read more about oral cancer facts and risks, visit our blog.

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