Many people believe that oral cancer is rare. But according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, 132 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each day in the United States.
When you visit your dentist in Wilmington, DE, oral cancer screening is done as part of your routine medical examination. As with all cancers, early detection is key.
But what can be done to prevent this disease? Let’s take a look at what you need to know about the facts, including the risks and the treatment of oral cancer.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Anyone who is diagnosed with oral cancer wants to know “why.” There isn’t always a definitive answer to go along with a diagnosis, but there are some risk factors than can make you more susceptible to oral cancer, including:
- Use of tobacco products
- Heavy consumption of alcohol
- Human papillomavirus infection
- Sun exposure
- Poor diet
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
In most cases, oral cancer can include any of the following signs and symptoms:
- Persistent sores on the mouth, face, or neck that do not heal
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth or throat
- Numbness or tenderness in the face, neck, or mouth
- Abnormalities found inside the mouth or on the lips or gums
- Chronic sore throat
- Unexplained hoarseness or change in voice
- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
- Trouble with speaking or swallowing
Be sure to contact your dentist or health care provider if you notice any of these symptoms.
Diagnosing Oral Cancer
During an examination, your dentist will check your mouth and throat carefully, looking for abnormalities. If you are exhibiting signs or symptoms of oral cancer, tests might be ordered, including an MRI or CT scan and biopsy.
Treatment of Oral Cancer
Depending on the type of oral cancer you have and how far it has progressed, a number of treatment options might be available, including:
- Targeted therapy
- Participation in clinical trials
Protecting Yourself with the Help of Your Pike Creek Dentist
Practicing good oral care and keeping up with routine visits to the dentist will help keep your mouth healthy. Visiting your dentist regularly can help ensure that any signs of oral cancer are discovered early.
To learn more about your risk of oral cancer, call your Wilmington, DE dentist Dr. Mark Gladnick today!