Who is at High Risk for Oral Cancer?
According to the American Cancer Society, men over 50 have twice the propensity of developing oral cancer than women.
Smoking pipes, cigars or cigarettes will make you 6 times more likely to develop oral cancer. Chewing tobacco can lead to cancer of the cheeks, gums and lips.
People who drink alcohol excessively are also 6 times more likely to develop oral cancer.
But cancer can also develop in people who practice minimal smoking and minimal consumption of alcohol, although this group accounts for approximately 25% of oral cancer cases.
What to Look for As Signs of Oral Cancer
- Experiencing rough spots, swelling, lumps, bumps or areas of erosion.
- Developing velvety red, white or speckled patches in the mouth.
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
- Soreness in the back of the throat or a feeling something is caught in your throat.
- Chronic sore throat, hoarseness.
- Lesions or sores on the throat face or neck that do not heal
- Unexplained loss of weight
Prevention is the Best Defense Against Oral Cancer
Usually an examination by your dental professional will include a cancer screening. If you are not certain it is included in your exam, make certain to request it.
If you are a smoker, this won’t be the first time you are advised to stop smoking.
Make certain you follow a good daily regimen of good oral care, including flossing and brushing at least twice daily.
Eat foods rich in fiber; try to snack on fruits or vegetables and visit your dentist at least twice annually for regular dental checkups and care.
Here’s to your health!