Oral Cancer Awareness

Just like with other types of cancer, knowledge is a powerful tool in protecting yourself from oral cancer. 

Despite not always being in the headlines, oral cancer is a significant concern. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 54,000 new cases of oral and oropharyngeal cancers are expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2022, with over 20 percent of these cases contributing to patient fatalities.

Where does oral cancer typically manifest? 

It affects the mouth and lips, often appearing on the tongue, floor of the mouth, gums, inner cheeks, and lips. The classification depends on the specific location, with the frontal portion of the tongue considered oral cancer and the posterior portion categorized as throat cancer. Symptoms may sometimes be dismissed or overlooked, resembling common conditions like canker sores or gingivitis.

Recognizing the signs of oral cancer can be challenging, as early symptoms may mimic other mild oral conditions or may not be directly visible. However, it is crucial to consult with a medical professional if you experience indicators such as white, red, or dark patches in the mouth, overly cracked or bleeding gums, new lumps or swelling, numbness in the mouth or jaw, loose teeth, or pain in the mouth, face, or ear.

Understanding risk factors is vital.

Men, especially those over 50, are more prone to oral cancer, and race can play a role, with Black and Hispanic men having higher rates. Lifestyle choices significantly contribute, including tobacco use, alcohol consumption, HPV infection, and poor nutrition.

Regular dental check-ups are a critical step in catching oral cancer early. If you observe any signs or haven’t seen your dentist recently, scheduling an appointment is essential for proactive oral health care. Don’t wait; take charge of your oral health today. Contact It’s Your Time Dental today!

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