We want to take this opportunity to talk about a topic that is often overlooked: oral cancer. This is a severe disease that can be deadly if not caught early.
If you are at high risk for oral cancer or if you have been recently diagnosed, it is essential to educate yourself on the facts about this disease. Your Hyde Park dentist can help you find the correct facts about this disease.
Risk Factors of Oral Cancer and Its Symptoms
While this type of cancer is not as common as other types of cancer, it is essential to be aware of the risk factors and symptoms to catch it early if you do develop it.
Most cases of oral cancer are caused by tobacco use, whether it be smoking cigarettes, cigars, or pipes or using chewing tobacco. Alcohol abuse is also a significant risk factor, particularly when combined with tobacco use. Other risk factors include excessive sun exposure (which can cause lip cancer), a diet low in fruits and vegetables, and HPV infection.
Symptoms of oral cancer include persistent soreness or numbness in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, a lump on the lip or mouth, pain when chewing, white or red patches inside the mouth, and swollen lymph nodes. If you experience any of such symptoms for more than two weeks, you should see a doctor so that they can rule out other causes and possibly catch oral cancer in its early stages.
Truths To Know
1. Oral Cancer Is Often Diagnosed Late Because It Doesn’t Cause Any Pain
One of the most dangerous things about oral cancer is that it often doesn’t cause any pain or discomfort in the early stages. This means that people can have the disease for months or even years without knowing it. By the time they start to experience symptoms, the cancer has usually progressed to a more advanced stage. Ask our Hyde Park dentistry clinic to provide you with a list of signs that shows the risk of oral cancer.
2. The 5-Year Survival Rate for Oral Cancer Is Only About 50%
The five-year survival rate for oral cancer is only about 50%. This is because the disease is often not diagnosed until it is in a more advanced stage. When caught early, the survival rate jumps to 80-90%.
3. Oral Cancer Can Be Deadly
About 53,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer every year, and about 11,000 people die from the disease. While it is a severe disease, there is good news. The good news is that oral cancer is one of the most preventable cancers. By quitting tobacco and alcohol, you can significantly reduce your risk of developing oral cancer.
4. Early Detection Is Key
As with any cancer, early detection is critical. The earlier oral cancer is caught, the better the chances are of surviving the disease. If you are at risk for oral cancer or if you have been recently diagnosed, it is essential to educate yourself on the facts about this disease. By knowing the risks and symptoms, you can catch the disease early and improve your chances of survival.
If you or someone you know is at risk for oral cancer, don’t hesitate to schedule a screening with your dentist in Hyde Park.