WITH HOW SIGNIFICANT THE NUMBERS ARE FOR ORAL CANCER, we feel it deserves much more attention than people seem to give it. Over 35,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. The biggest problem is that while early detection boosts the survival rate to 80–90%, many times the diagnoses doesn’t happen until the cancer has progressed into much later stages.
If early detection increases the rate so considerably, why does oral cancer so often go undetected? One of the reasons is because many of the symptoms are not painful or uncomfortable, and people just don’t think they are anything important. Unfortunately, detecting oral cancer in its later stages significantly lowers survival rates.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the following symptoms are reasons you should have Dr. Brei take a look:
- A sore inside your mouth that doesn’t heal within two weeks
- A lump or thickening of your cheek
- A white or red patch on any part of your inner mouth or throat
- Chronic difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Difficulty moving your tongue or jaw
- Numbness inside your mouth
- Jaw swelling
Although some of they symptoms may have other causes behind them, there is peace of mind that comes from a visit to our office.
And of course, it goes without saying—the best offense is a great defense… That is, keep those regularly scheduled cleaning appointments and screenings. Doing so greatly increases the liklihood that any problems will be detected early. It’s absolutely worth it.
As your trusted, lifelong oral health partner, we want to keep you and your loved ones as healthy as possible. Let us know if you have any other questions about oral cancer or any of the symptoms mentioned above. And share this information with someone you know! Staying informed helps us all stay healthier.