April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month
This is the month to help end oral cancer. We encourage you to get screened. Our family dental team is offering free screenings all month and throughout the year, by appointment. You don’t have to be a patient to get checked, just contact our office.
While smoking and and tobacco use are major risk factors for oral cancer, the fastest growing group of patients might surprise you. They’re young, healthy and non-smokers. This is due to the connection to the HPV virus. About 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2019.
Signs and Symptoms
- Any sore or ulcer that hasn’t healed in two weeks
- A red, black or white discoloration in the soft tissues of the mouth
- Any abnormality that bleeds easily when touched
- A lump or hard spot in the tissue, usually border of the tongue
- A growth
- A sore under a denture that does not heal
- A lump or thickening in the mouth
- You notice a painless, firm, fixed lump on the outside of the neck for at least two weeks
Help End Oral Cancer
I encourage you to get screened because it’s a key step in early detection. To prevent oral cancer, avoid tobacco and alcohol, and talk to your doctor about the HPV vaccine. Men are twice as likely to get oral cancer than women. Smokers and excessive alcohol drinkers older than 50 are the most at-risk. All it takes is three to seven minutes to get screened. Everyone over the age of 18 should get checked annually, according to The Oral Cancer Foundation.
As a cancer survivor, and a health care professional, I understand the importance of early detection and treatment. To help better understand the screening process, I created a short video that demonstrates how it works, click here. The process is painless and quick, and it doesn’t cost a thing. I’m available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call my office. You can schedule an appointment by dialing 864-520-2942 or you can book online.