Oral Cancer – Everything You Need To Know

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In less than an hour someone will die from oral cancer. Early detection and management can prevent this. Historically the death rate associated with this cancer is particularly high not because it is hard to discover or diagnose, but due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development. Today 40% of oral cancers are being found in patients that do not display social or lifestyle risk factors.

What to look for:

What would concern us: 

  • Tissue that is a different color than the tissue around the discolored area (white, red, black) 
  • A sore or ulcer that does not heal within fourteen days 
  • An abnormal spot that bleeds easily when touched 
  • A lump, hard spot, or raised area in the tissue 
  • Hoarseness or sore throat that does not resolve over three weeks 
  • Unexplained numbness in the mouth 
  • Sore under a denture that does not heal even after an adjustment 
  • Lump or thickening that develops in the mouth or neck 
  • Any abnormal finding should return to normal within three weeks or follow up should be considered

Traditional risk factors for oral cancers include age, alcohol consumption, and smoking. Today HPV infections are on the rise, and we have other concerns. We strongly encourage oral cancer screenings at least once a year. 

At Brooks Family Dental, we screen for oral cancers every time you have an exam or have a professional dental cleaning! A thorough evaluation, along with investigating the above areas allows us to personalize your care!

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