According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, close to 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. By 2024, only slightly more than half of those individuals will still be alive. Oral cancer kills 9,750 in the United States every year - that’s about one death every hour - a fact made all the more tragic by the treatability of this disease. When caught in its earliest stages, survival rates increase significantly, up to 92% depending on the location of the tumor.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Symptoms of oral cancer include:
- A sore on the lip, tongue, or in the mouth that will not heal
- White or red patches inside the mouth
- A lump in the mouth
- General mouth pain
- Difficulties swallowing
Other symptoms of oral cancer may include loose teeth or even ear pain. Any of these symptoms that last for longer than seven days should be brought to the attention of Dr. Evola. Again, when caught early, oral cancer can often be successfully treated.
Oral Cancer Risk Factors
Oral cancer has been called a “lifestyle disease” because it is one that almost entirely related to how a person lives. The biggest risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco and alcohol use. In fact, by the numbers, 80% of men and 65% of women who are diagnosed with oral cancer every year both use tobacco and drink heavily. This means your most effective protection against oral cancer is giving up tobacco and alcohol.
Even if you are not in the traditional risk group, Dr. Evola provides thorough screening for oral cancer during routine cleanings and examinations. If it has been longer than six months since your last visit, give us a call at 716-656-8686 to schedule your next appointment today.
Located in Depew, Forestream Dental welcomes patients from Buffalo, Orchard Park, and all surrounding areas of New York.