Two stories of oral cancer survivors were recently shared by the American Dental Association.
A story of a 35-year-old wife and mother who learned of an oral cancer diagnosis through routine radiographs and an examination with her dentist can be read here:
Another story of a 12-year-old girl who visited her dentist with a lump on the inside of her cheek which turned out to be oral cancer can be found here:
Early detection of oral cancer is so important and is best done by your dentist or dental hygienist. Routine examinations and x-rays can lead to detection of pre-cancerous or cancerous lesions before any signs or symptoms are noted by a patient.
Signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Sore throat
- Swollen, bleeding gums that worsen or do not resolve within a week or two
- A bump or mass inside the mouth that was not noted before
- Pain in the ear, mouth or face
- Pain or difficulty while swallowing
- Bad breath, ulcers or red and white areas in the mouth
- Enlarged neck lymph nodes
- Unexplained hoarseness of voice
Things to help prevent oral cancer include:
- Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly
- Refraining from smoking or chewing any type of tobacco product
- Drinking alcohol only in moderation
- Limiting sun exposure and wearing sunscreen, even on the lips
- Exercising regularly
- Choosing cancer-fighting foods in your diet
- Seeing your dentist regularly, at least every six months, for a routine examination and oral cancer screening
- Conducting a self exam at least once a month
If you have any signs or symptoms, or just have not had an exam lately, please contact our office or your dentist for a visit!