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Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
By: ChanDent , Categories: Healthy Tips , Comments Off on Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Cancer can take many forms. Most of us are very aware of lung, prostate, and breast cancer, which are the three most commonly diagnosed cancers in the United States. However, cancers of the head and neck are on the rise. One of the best ways you can prevent oral cancer, or catch it early on, is knowing the signs and symptoms, and being aware of the factors that increase your risk of oral cancer.

Signs and SymptomsStop Oral Cancer

  • Persistent sore throat, hoarseness, or change in voice
  • Sores that do not heal within two weeks
  • Difficulty swallowing, chewing, speaking, or moving the tongue or jaw
  • Unexplained loss of feeling in the face, mouth, or neck
  • Unexplained white, red, or speckled patches in the mouth
  • Ear pain

Reducing Your Risk

  • Quit Smoking and Using Tobacco (or Don’t Start)
    • Risk of developing oral cancer is six times greater for smokers, and 50 times greater for smokeless tobacco users than for individuals who do not smoke or use tobacco products.
  • Limit Alcohol Consumption
    • Excess alcohol consumption is associated with a six-times increased risk of oral cancers.
  • Know Your Mouth
    • Be familiar with how your mouth looks and feels, so you can spot any changes and mention them to your doctor or dentist.
  • Limit sun exposure
    • Just as sun exposure is linked to skin cancer, it is linked to cancer developing on the lips. Don’t overlook your lips when applying sun block!
  • Eat Healthy
    • Diets low in fruits and vegetables increase your risk for oral cancers. Make sure to eat a balanced diet that includes healthy foods, leafy greens, fresh fruit, and foods that provide a good source of beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant.
  • Practice Safe Sex
    • Unprotected oral sex spreads HPV (Human papillomavirus), which is the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancer. There are 200 strains of HPV, and although only nine are associated with cancer, it’s important to decrease your risk of contracting the virus.
  • Visit Your Dentist
    • Seeing your dentist regularly allows them to monitor your mouth for any signs of cancer. Detecting cancer early on increases the likelihood of successful treatment.

To schedule your next appointment, call our office at 952-443-3368.