Would you be surprised to learn that oral cancer is actually responsible for one death every hour in America, 24 hours per day? Most people are because we don’t typically hear too much about oral cancer. However, it’s also cancer with a high rate of reoccurrence, which means that if you survive the first encounter with it, you are 20 times more likely to get it again. Even worse is that these numbers have not significantly improved over the years because oral cancer is usually not diagnosed in its early stages, which give patients a better prognosis. This is why your dentist in Fremont is taking the time to share what you should know about this deadly disease since April is oral cancer awareness month.
How Do We Define Oral Cancer?
Cancers that occur in the head and neck region fall under the category of oral cancers, excluding the brain, which has its own separate group. Since there are not many noticeable signs, symptoms, or much pain, in the beginning, oral cancer often goes undetected.
Here are some signs to be aware of are:
- A white or red patch of tissue inside the mouth
- A sore or lesion that doesn’t heal or go away within 14 days
- A lump or mass inside the neck or mouth
- Pain when talking, swallowing, or eating
- Numbness in the mouth or face
You are your own best advocate! If you notice changes in your oral health don’t hesitate to contact your Fremont dentist and have it checked out.
The Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer used to be known more as a disease for older people; however, due to the rise of the human papillomavirus (HPV), many younger people are now developing it.
If you use tobacco products, you are also at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. When you combine tobacco use with alcohol, you’ve increased your risk 15 times.
Some studies have shown that diet may also contribute to certain cancers. Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables naturally helps protect against many forms of cancer.
Protect Your Dental Health
Your best defense against oral cancer is your routine examination with your dentist in Fremont every six months. You will be screened for it during your examination, and your dentist can detect it early on, which gives you a better chance of successfully treating it.
If it’s time for your next dental checkup, don’t delay calling your dentist today to schedule your appointment.
About the Author
Dr. James Block has been serving patients in Fremont, CA for nearly 30 years. Patients enjoy high-quality dentistry in a comfortable and laid back setting.
Because his focus is on prevention, he hopes to spread awareness about concerns like oral cancer to give his patients the best chance of successfully managing this disease.
If you would like to contact James Block Dentistry, our team can be reached by calling (510) 246-3502 or through our website.
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