Be Careful of Your Oral Health with Oral Cancer Awareness
Cases of cancer have increased in recent years, and it is no different from oral cancer. The cases of this deadly disease have increased drastically in the last few years and not only for smokers and heavy drinkers. New research shows that this disease is related to the HPV virus.
Oral cancer usually affects people who are 50+ years old, but nowadays, it is becoming prevalent even with nonsmoking young people. In the US, HPV causes as many cases of oral cancer as tobacco. That’s why it is essential for every person to visit the dentist for mouth and throat oral cancer screening
. If identified early, the chances of treating it are very high.
Facts about Oral Cancer
- Over 50% of oral cancer cases are related to HPV
- Less than 64% of people diagnosed with oral cancer survive for more than five years
- More than 50% of survivors of oral cancer don’t return back to their normal activities due to disfiguration.
- Over 80% of oral cancer patients identified early survives.
Regular dental exams can help identify the signs of mouth cancer early, and the dentist can diagnose you. You can also conduct self-exam and check for early signs of oral cancer. Some of the symptoms you should be on the lookout for include:
- Cold sore on the lip that lasts for more than 14 days
- Lumps, growths, or swelling on your neck or anywhere near it
- Red or white patches on your lips and mouth
- Repeated bleeding from your throat or mouth
- Persistent hoarseness.
Keep two to three weeks period in mind. Call the dentist right away if you have any immediate concerns.
Factors that Increase the Risk of Oral Cancer
Research has identified a number of factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer. Traditionally, these risks were only associated with heavy drinkers, smokers, and people above 50 years. Nowadays, oral cancer is also affecting younger and nonsmoking people. This is because of the papillomavirus 16 (HPV).
Be on the lookout for signs such as sore throat, swelling of tonsillar areas, and swelling felt in your neck. Those are the major signs of HPV virus action in your body. Just like early signs of oral cancer, give yourself about two weeks to assess the signs.
If you have any issues, there is no better time to book an appointment for oral screening than 1st April during the Oral Cancer Awareness Month 2020. When you do, don’t forget to ask the dentist near you to add screenings to your regular dental exams. The dentist can identify cancer as early as possible, and you can be treated.
Prevention of Oral Cancer
There haven’t been a proven means to prevent oral cancer, but you can reduce the chances of being diagnosed by doing somethings right. Some of the things you can do:
If you are a smoker, stop smoking, and if you are not, don’t start. This doesn’t mean you should chew it, even chewing tobacco increases the risk of oral cancer. Tobacco exposes your mouth to cancer-causing symptoms.
If you don’t take alcohol, don’t start now. If you are, then take it in moderation or not at all. Excessive alcohol can irritate the cells in your mouth, which can make it vulnerable to cancer.
Don’t Expose Your Lips to A lot of Sun
If you work in a very sunny area, ensure to protect your lips from the Sun. Buy sunscreen and apply it daily to protect your lips from it. Wear shades to protect your skin since the Sun doesn’t only increase the risk of mouth cancer. Sun can also increase the risk of other types of cancer.
Conduct Self-Exam Regularly
Use your mirror to look for any of the signs we have discussed. Be sure to call your dentist in case you notice any changes.
Visit Your Dentist Regularly
During the regular dental exams, ensure the dentist looks for signs of mouth cancer as well. Let him inform you about any precancerous changes so that if there is, you can get diagnosed as early as possible. This way, the chances of curing it increases.
You can count on us if you are in Encinitas, and you are looking for a dentist near you. We offer several dental services, including zoom whitening, oral screenings, and other services. Our services are family and pocket-friendly. We accept most PPO insurances, cash, check, and credit cards. Book an appointment