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What to Know About Oral Cancer

Posted on April 19th, 2019 by Dr. Nikoo Daftary

Every April is the perfect opportunity for our dentist in Chicago to raise awareness for oral cancer. While the general public knows a lot about cancers such as breast cancer or lymphoma, oral cancer is not as commonly talked about. Oral and pharyngeal cancer consists of cancer that develops in the upper mouth and the upper throat. Despite a low awareness about this type of cancer, the statistics around it are startling. This type of cancer collectively kills nearly one person of every hour of every day of the year. Plus, of those who are diagnosed with this cancer, only roughly 60 percent will live longer than 5 years.

Be Aware of Warning Signs

The statistics surrounding this cancer are so extreme because most people do not realize something is wrong until symptoms are extreme. Here are some common warning signs:

  • White or red patches inside of your mouth
  • A mouth sore or ulcer
  • Tenderness or lumps in the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing or chewing
  • Difficulty moving the tongue or jaw
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • A lump on the lips or throat

Causes and Risk Factors

There is no concrete evidence that alludes to what causes the initial mutation that leads to oral cancer. However, there are particular risk factors that include tobacco and alcohol use, age, HPV, sun exposure and gender.

Prevention

In order to help reduce your risk of developing oral cancer, there are certain measures that you can take. Make sure to schedule regular visits with our dentist in Chicago for oral cancer screenings. You should also aim to consume alcohol in moderation and maintain a healthy diet. Also, make sure to use sunscreen regularly.
Schedule an appointment with our team today to make sure that you are not developing early signs of oral cancer!

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