common and how serious is oral cancer?
The most frequent oral cancer sites are the tongue, the floor of the mouth, and soft palate tissue areas in back of the tongue, lips, and gums. If not diagnosed and treated in its early stages, oral cancer can spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, irreparable facial and oral disfigurement following surgery, and even death. Your general dentist can perform a thorough screening for oral cancer.
causes oral cancer?
are the warning signs to watch out for?
See your dentist immediately if you observe: any sore that persists longer than two weeks; a swelling, growth or lump anywhere in or about the mouth or neck; white or red patches in the mouth or on the lips; repeated bleeding from the mouth or throat; difficulty swallowing or persistent hoarseness.
does a dentist screen for oral cancer?
is oral cancer treated?
can I do to prevent oral cancer?
can help prevent oral cancer by not smoking, using spit tobacco and
drinking excessive alcohol. When tobacco use and alcohol use are combined,
the risk of oral cancer increases 15 times more than non-users of
tobacco and alcohol products. Research suggests that eating plenty of fruits
and vegetables may safeguard against oral cancer. Because successful
treatment and rehabilitation are dependent on early detection, it
is extremely important to see your dentist for an oral cancer screening
and regular checkup at least every six months. Survival rates greatly increase
the earlier oral cancer is discovered and treated. During your next
dental visit, ask your dentist to do an oral cancer screening.
American Cancer Society; Luke F. Matranga, DDS, MAGD, CBGD, past president of the AGD; "The War on Oral Cavity and Pharyngeal Cancer," by Dr. Harold Slavkin, JADA, April 1996; "U.S. Adult Knowledge of Risk Factors and Signs of Oral Cancers: 1990," by Dr. Alice Horowitz, et. al., JADA, January 1995; "The Early Warning Signs of Oral Cancer," by Edmund Cataldo, Dental Hygienist News, Spring 1994.