Oral Cancer Risk Factors and Symptoms

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A positive cancer diagnosis at any age or stage of development is always a serious matter. This is why oral cancer screenings and maintaining an up to date health history are an important part of your regular dental checkup.

According to the American Dental Association 1 in 92 adults will develop oral or pharyngeal cancer at some point in their life. Men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer than women.

Tobacco and alcohol use, especially heavy use of both combined, increase the risk factors. HPV infections have also been linked to an increased occurrence of oral or pharyngeal cancer.

Common symptoms include a feeling a lump in soft tissues under the tongue, chin, throat, or under the gums. Some people complain of difficulty moving the tongue, chewing and swallowing. A persistent sore throat or numbness that lasts for two weeks or more, as well as a hoarse voice or difficulty speaking, is also red flag for symptoms of pharyngeal cancer.

An oral cancer screening at our office is the first step in the process. If there are any signs of oral cancer we will usually refer you to an oncologist or other specialist for a biopsy.

Early detection is a key for developing effective treatment of oral cancer. If you have some of the symptoms or oral cancer, please feel free to call us at 209-667-7889 to schedule an appointment.