According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, close to 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year. The unfortunate thing is, oral cancer is often discovered when it has already spread to other parts of the body. During the early stages, it may not be noticed by the patient for it can progress without much pain and recognizable symptoms.
Risk Factors Associated with Oral Cancer
- Smoking and tobacco usage. These factors may not immediately cause cancer, but the accumulated damage from them will increase the risk of the disease.
- Heavy alcohol consumption. Coupled with smoking, the risk of oral cancer will significantly increase fifteen times more than those who only smoke but do not drink.
- Exposure to X-rays. Exposure to x-rays are accumulative and has implications with cancer.
- Human Papillomavirus. The Human Papillomavirus, specifically HPV16, has a definite implication with oral cancer. People of young age diagnosed with oral cancer are shown to be carrying this virus.
- Unhealthy diet. A study shows that a diet low in fruits and vegetables can be a risk factor for oral cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer
- Painless lump felt inside the throat or cheek
- White or red patch of tissue inside the mouth
- Numbness in the oral or facial region
- Persistent earache
- Spots that continuously bleed and do not heal.
- Pain when swallowing, speaking or chewing
The death toll of oral cancer is particularly high because it is usually diagnosed in the late stages. Taking note of the risk factors, coupled with a healthy lifestyle and proper screening, is highly essential. Around 84% of oral cancer cases can be detected early with the help of a dental professional.
To monitor any signs of abnormalities that can put the overall oral health at risk, we at Hoffman Smiles can provide you with a thorough Oral Cancer Screening in Hoffman Estates, IL! For everyone to experience secure and friendly dental services, you can find us at 990 Grand Canyon Parkway Suite 215, Hoffman Estates, IL 60169. Schedule your appointment now.