Even though it’s National Oral Cancer Awareness Month, many people don’t want to discuss the disease. It’s unfortunate that so many people can relate to cancer conversations because someone that they know has been affected by it. Whether their mother had breast cancer, or a friend of a friend had been diagnosed with colon cancer, the possibility of developing different types of cancers continue to rise the more that people refuse to discuss prevention.
That’s why your dentist in Park Slope wants to dedicate this week’s blog post to addressing oral cancer awareness. The more that patients are aware of the risk factors, symptoms, and consequences, the more people can avoid the disease altogether. Continue reading to learn more.
Oral Cancer is Far Too Familiar
As mentioned above, there are too many people that have had to hear their doctor or dentist break the unfortunate news that they have oral cancer within or around their mouth. Oral cancer can affect anyone, although there are some people that have higher risks than others. Here are some of the risk factors that you should avoid to ward off oral cancer diagnosis:
- Tobacco users are at risk because of the all the dangerous chemicals that reside in tobacco products.
- Alcohol abusers are also at risk for developing the disease, but almost triple their chances of developing the disease when using both alcohol and tobacco at the same time.
- Some systematic diseases compromise the immune system and have been known to lead to oral cancer development.
Your Dentist Helps to Prevent Late Diagnosis
If you were to be diagnosed with oral cancer, your chance of survival is much greater when you notice the symptoms in their earliest stages—upwards to 50% higher! That’s why it’s so important to receive regular oral cancer screenings. Your general dentist will examine the soft tissues of your mouth for signs of oral cancer during a regular dental visit. It’s best to have a dental professional do this periodically so that they have a chance to spot the subtle symptoms that might not be recognizable to the untrained eye.
Here’s what your dentist will be looking for:
- Sores, lumps, or bumps around or inside the mouth.
- A sore throat.
- Numbness around the lips and mouth.
- Abnormal swelling in or around the mouth.
- Lesions in the mouth—especially around or underneath the tongue.
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck behind or around the ears.
When was your last oral cancer screening in Park Slope? Regular examinations are key to the early detection that could save you and your family from the consequences that come with late detection.
About Our Office
When you choose to visit The Dental Spa of New York, you know that your family dentist in Park Slope looks out for more than just your oral health. We care about taking care of your whole well-being, starting with the mouth. Lear more about how we may be able to help you during your next visit by giving us a call.