March 16th, 2020
Oral cancers can be deadly diseases. Each year in the United States, roughly 45,000 new cases of mouth and throat cancer are diagnosed, and about 13% of people die within the same year they are diagnosed.
Treatment may be more successful with oral cancers that are found early. Your dentist checks for these cancers every time you visit, so this is one more reason to see your dentist regularly.
This brochure will tell you some ways to lower your risk for mouth and throat cancer. And by watching for the signs and symptoms listed here, you are more likely to find the cancer earlier if you do have it.
Below is a list of mouth and throat cancer signs and symptoms. Check your mouth in the mirror each day when you brush and floss. If there are any changes in your mouth or neck, or if you notice any of these signs or symptoms, contact your dentist.
Signs and symptoms of oral (mouth) cancer:
Cancer on the tongue
Cancer on the lip
Leukoplakia (which can turn into cancer) inside the cheek
Throat cancer affecting the base of the tongue and the tonsils.
Anyone can get cancer. There are some factors that you may control – such as smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco, heavy alcohol consumption, and exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV) – which increase your risk of developing of developing oral cancer. Below is more information about factors that can affect your chance of developing mouth or throat cancer.
During a dental exam, your dentist will check your face, neck and mouth for lumps, red or white patches, and sore areas that do not heal. Your dentist may check you for oral cancer visually, manually, with special screening tools, or with a combination of these methods.
Be sure to tell your dentist if you notice any changes in your mouth and/or neck. If signs of cancer are found early, treatment may be more successful.
Be aware of any changes in your mouth and throat. If you have any concerns about mouth and throat cancer, talk with your dentist. It may help save your life.
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