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What You Need To Know About Oral Cancer

Tuesday - March 19th, 2019
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Photo by Michael Browning on Unsplash

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with the disease this year. While the thought of being diagnosed with an aggressive disease like cancer can feel scary, the good news is that with early detection, this is 90% curable.

To honor awareness surrounding this issue, today’s blog will cover the what, where, and how of oral and oropharyngeal cancers.

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer refers to any cancer that develops in the oral cavity aka the mouth.

Where in the mouth can you develop oral cancer?

Oral cancer can affect any part of the mouth from the lips to the tongue to the roof of the mouth. Patients newly diagnosed with oral cancer will typically have a small amount of cancer in a nearby area like esophagus or lungs.

How will I know if I have oral cancer?

Symptoms of oral cancer are painless, and often go undetected for quite some time. This is why early detection is key!

The best way to know if you have oral cancer is by visiting your dentist. They’ll perform a painless, non-invasive examination of your lips, tongue, gums and roof of your mouth, looking for any irritations or precancerous conditions.

Each year an estimated 10,860 people die from oral cancer. Schedule an appointment with your dentist to assess your risk for developing oral cancer.