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Send Enquiry
Full Name *
Mobile Number (with country code) *
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Best time to call you *
Enquiry *
Book an Appointment
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Treatment *
If Other, please specify *
Preferred Date
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Notes & Other Queries
Oral Cancer Awareness

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. This year, we would like to focus on the importance of early detection.

Oral cancer is a broad term for cancer that affects the inside of your mouth. It’s divided into two categories - those occurring in the oral cavity (lips, cheeks, teeth, gums, tongue, the roof, and floor of the mouth) and those occurring in the oropharynx (throat, tonsils, and base of the tongue).

How common is oral cancer and who is at risk?

Globally, oral cancer affects 650,000 people every year.

It is more common in men than in women. Historically, it occurs in heavy smokers and excessive alcohol drinkers older than 50. Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection has also been associated with oral cancer.

It’s important to note that 25% of people who develop oral cancer don’t smoke or have other known risk factors.

Patients who survive oral cancer, have up to 20 times higher risk of developing second tumor.
–Oral Cancer Foundation

What are the warning signs of oral cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society and the American Dental Association, oral cancers may cause one or more of these signs and symptoms.

  • A sore on the lip or in the mouth that doesn't heal
  • Pain or irritation in the mouth that doesn’t go away
  • A lump or thickening in the lips, mouth, or cheek
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth
  • A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in your throat that doesn’t go away
  • Trouble chewing or swallowing or trouble moving the tongue or jaw
  • Numbness of the tongue, lip, or other areas of the mouth
  • Swelling or pain in the jaw
  • A lump or mass in the neck or back of the throat
  • Dentures that start to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
  • Loosening of the teeth or pain around the teeth
  • Hoarseness or changes in the voice
  • Weight loss
  • Pain in the ear

How can visiting a dentist help detect oral cancer?

Changes in the mouth can go on pain-free for a long time, and this is why regular dental check-ups are important. Your dentist will check your mouth for signs of oral cancer and will also feel your jaw and neck for abnormalities or lumps.

SEE ALSO: 6 important things dentists check during routine visits

Why is it important to get an oral cancer screening?

Early detection can prevent cancer from becoming invasive or spreading into other parts of the body. It can generally increase the chances for a successful treatment.

Remember, the death rate of oral cancer is high not because it is hard to diagnose, but because most cases are discovered late in its development.

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