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Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer

April is Oral Cancer Awareness month. Even though one person every hour of the day will die from it, the public awareness is low when it comes to oral and pharyngeal cancer. Approximately 48,250 people in the U.S. will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year1. The 5 year survival rate is only about 60% due to late discovery for most cases. Moreover, many who do survive suffer long-term severe facial disfigurement or difficulties eating and speaking.

Risk Factors

1.    Alcohol and tobacco (cigarettes and smokeless) remain the greatest risk factors, and using them in combination increases the risk 15 times over the use of one or the other

2.    Infection with the sexually transmitted HPV16 virus has been linked to a subset of oral cancers2

3.    Prolonged sun or tanning bed exposure is a risk factor for lip cancer

4.    An estimated 25% of oral cancer patients have no known risk factors

Possible Signs and Symptoms

1.    A sore on the lip or in the mouth that does not heal

2.    A lump or thickening on the lips, gums, or in the mouth

3.    A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsils or lining of the mouth

4.    Bleeding, pain or numbness in the lip or mouth

5.    Change in voice

6.    Loose teeth or dentures that no longer fit well

7.    Trouble chewing or swallowing or moving the tongue or jaw

8.    Swelling of the jaw

9.    Sore throat or feeling that something is caught in the throat

10.  Change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth

11.  No noticeable signs or symptoms

Early detection is key when it comes to oral and pharyngeal cancer. At Dr. Rebecca Bae, DDS, a complimentary oral cancer screening is performed on every patient at each recall visit!

For the entire month of April, complimentary oral cancer screening will be offered to patients mentioning this article, so call now to schedule a visit at (973) 838-1177.

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