Oral and pharyngeal cancer kills roughly 1 person per hour, 24 hours a day. The incidence of oral cancer deaths is higher than most of the cancers that we hear about, such as cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and skin cancer.
The death rate attributed to oral cancer is not difficulty in diagnosis, but rather that symptoms often go unnoticed until it is in a very advanced stage.
There have been two main causes identified as being linked to oral cancer:
1) long term use of tobacco and alcohol
2) exposure to the HPV-16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16) – this is also the most common cause of cervical cancer in women.
Warning Signs of Oral Cancer:
Oral cancer usually appears as red, white or discolored lesions, patches or lumps in or around the mouth, including the lips, gum tissue, tongue, cheek lining and roof of the mouth. It is usually painless in the early stages, and often goes unnoticed, so screening at routine dental exams is recommended.
- Mouth sores that persist longer than two weeks
- Pain, soreness or numbness in any area of the mouth or lips
- Swelling, growths or lumps anywhere in or about the mouth or neck
- White or red patches in the mouth or on the lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing or persistent hoarseness
It is important to find oral cancer as early as possible when it can be treated more successfully. We routinely check your face, neck, lips and entire mouth for possible signs of cancer at your regular examination and preventive care visits, and work closely with dental and medical specialists to address any areas of concern.
Your Health is Important. Please share this vital information with your friends and family to help us promote oral cancer screening to detect this life-threatening condition as early as possible.
If you have questions about oral cancer and would like to learn more, please Contact Us.
Oral Cancer Foundation
American Dental Association®