Increased Risk Factors and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

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A positive cancer diagnosis at any age or stage of development is always a serious matter. This is why oral cancer screenings and maintaining an up to date medical history are an important part of your regular dental checkup.

According to the American Dental Association 1 in 92 adults will develop oral or pharyngeal cancer at some point in their life. Men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer than women.
People who use tobacco and alcohol on a regular basis tend to be at higher risk of developing oral cancer. A past HPV infection also has shown to increase risk factors for oral or pharyngeal cancer.

Some of the more common symptoms include feeling a lump in soft tissues under the tongue, chin, throat, or around the gums. In some cases people will complain that they have difficulty moving their tongue. This might also include issues with chewing and swallowing. A persistent sore throat or numbness in the area that lasts for two weeks or more as well as a hoarse voice or difficulty speaking is also red flag symptoms for pharyngeal cancer.

The oral cancer screening at our office during your twice a year dental checkup is the first step in the process. If you have any symptoms that might be related to oral cancer, be sure to let us know. If there are any signs of oral cancer we will usually refer you to an oncologist or other specialist for a biopsy.

Early detection is a key for developing effective treatment of oral cancer. If you have some of the symptoms or oral cancer, please feel free to call us at 785-539-5949 to schedule an appointment.