Early Detection Saves Lives: Understanding Oral Cancer

June 10, 2024

Oral cancer is a serious disease, and one of the ten most commonly occurring cancers worldwide. With hundreds of thousands of cases of oral or oropharyngeal cancers diagnosed each year, early detection remains crucial in minimizing risk and achieving favorable treatment outcomes.

Identifying the Risk Factors

While anyone can develop oral cancer, certain groups are at a higher risk. Men over the age of 50 who smoke heavily and consume alcohol excessively make up the highest risk group. Other factors that may increase your chances of developing oral cancer include UV exposure from the sun or sunlamps, gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), previous head and neck radiation exposure, contact with certain chemicals, or a poor diet. It's also important to note that despite declining mortality rates from cancer in general, there has been an increase in oropharyngeal cancer cases due to the rise of human papillomavirus (HPV) transmission through sexual activity.

What Your Dentist Can Detect

At our dental practice, we strive to provide comprehensive care that promotes healthy smiles and overall well-being. Regular checkup visits offer more than just an opportunity to assess your oral health; they also allow us to detect signs of other conditions that could severely impact your health. As part of each checkup visit, we conduct a thorough screening to identify any suspicious lesions or symptoms that might indicate the development of oral cancer.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Stay alert! One thing to remember is that the signs and symptoms of oral cancer can often mimic benign lesions that may resolve on their own. If you notice any of the following signs or symptoms, it's essential to make an appointment for a timely evaluation and care:

  • Mouth sores or ulcers that don't heal
  • Red or white patches in your mouth
  • Unusual lumps or thickened areas within the oral cavity
  • Persistent swelling of unknown origin
  • Pain when swallowing
  • A sore, painful tongue
  • Feeling like something is constantly stuck in your throat
  • Tenderness or numbness in the mouth or lips
  • Loose teeth without an obvious cause
  • Jaw pain or stiffness

Although the number of annual cases of oral and oropharyngeal cancers remains high, significant advancements in prevention, early detection, and treatment offer better prognoses and outcomes. By staying informed and vigilant about your oral health, you can help protect yourself against this potentially devastating disease.

Pushing the Boundaries of Dental Technology

Awareness is key when it comes to oral cancer. Since many signs and symptoms of oral cancer may resemble benign lesions that can resolve on their own or remain painless, you might be unaware of its presence. At our dental practice, we conduct routine oral cancer screenings to check for questionable tissue changes or unusual growths that could indicate the development of oral cancer. If we detect a suspicious lesion or a tissue abnormality, or if you report signs or symptoms consistent with oral cancer, we will recommend timely biopsy and diagnostic testing as needed.

A Heartfelt Call to Action

While the statistics on oral cancer can be daunting, there is hope. By staying informed about the risks and symptoms of this disease, you're already taking an important step in protecting your oral health. At our dental practice, we are committed to providing compassionate care that promotes healthy smiles and overall well-being. If you have concerns about your oral health or notice any unusual signs or symptoms, don't hesitate to reach out to us for a timely evaluation and care.

Your dental health is our top priority. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and take the first step towards a healthy, beautiful smile.

Team of Professionals

With today’s array of sophisticated and modern dental technology even the most challenging smiles can be transformed into ones that dazzle. We use the most advanced techniques to provide all our patients with outstanding results! Come check us out today!


Midway Phone:

Pilsen Phone: