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How Should You Honor Oral Cancer Awareness Month?  

April 18, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — chenetdoc @ 7:06 am
A doctor holding a burgundy-ivory ribbon that symbolizes Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Now that it’s April, you may pay more attention to the weather. Fair enough – this month is known for warm days and outdoor fun. Still, don’t forget to consider your mouth over these next few weeks. The fact is that April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month – a time for noting and fighting the dangers of oral cancer. Luckily, your Melbourne dentist is here to help you honor the occasion. Here’s a brief look at oral cancer’s risk factors, symptoms, and screening process.

What are Oral Cancer’s Risk Factors?

Oral cancer can be deadly in its later stages, so you ought to avoid it as best you can. That means you should manage its risk factors to lower your odds of getting it. By doing so, your body will be safer and better protected.

Given the facts above, oral cancer’s typical risk factors are:

  • Genetics – As it turns out, biological males are more likely to get oral cancer. The same applies to those with a family history of the condition.
  • Age – The older you get, the higher your oral cancer risk. Adults over 55 years old are especially likely to develop the disease.
  • Sun Exposure – If you spend too much time in the sun, you’ll be exposed to a lot of ultraviolet (UV) light. This exposure may cause cancer in your lips.
  • Tobacco & Alcohol Use – When you smoke or chew tobacco, you absorb carcinogens that can trigger cancer. Alcoholic drinks can then help those carcinogens enter your oral tissues.

What About Its Symptoms?

Perhaps surprisingly, oral cancer’s symptoms resemble those of less severe conditions. You’ll want to take its seemingly harmless signs seriously. So, make sure to watch for:

  • Bleeding sores on your lip or inside your mouth
  • Lumps or thick patches in your mouth
  • Numbness, pain, or tenderness on your face
  • Rough or crusty areas on your lips or gums
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • A feeling of looseness in your teeth

Why Do Dentists Screen for It?

It’s possible to get oral cancer even if you lack the more obvious signs. For that reason, look into getting a dental checkup this month. This visit will include a thorough screening for oral cancer and its symptoms.

You see, patients greatly benefit from oral cancer screenings. These checks for the relevant cancer signs make an early diagnosis (if the cancer is present) more likely. That diagnosis can then raise your 5-year survival rate to a whopping 86%!  The reason is simple: oral cancer is easier to treat in its initial stages.

To honor this year’s Oral Cancer Awareness Month, learn its namesake’s risk factors, signs, and screening methods. Doing so should help your mouth stay cancer-free!

About the Author

Dr. Cedric C. Chenet is a certified dentist based in Melbourne, FL. Having earned his DDS from Howard University in Washington, DC, he takes pride in his hands-on knowledge of general dentistry. This expertise covers periodontics, endodontics, prosthodontics, and even pediatric work. Of course, he and his team also handle standard dental checkups and oral cancer screenings. Dr. Chenet now practices at his self-titled clinic and is reachable on his website and by phone at (321)-253-3136.

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