For decades, it is believed, the incidence of oral cancer has remained nearly constant, partly because it can be difficult to detect. However, during April, Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Western Dental Services, Inc., is joining the national (U.S.) effort to support early recognition of oral cancer symptoms.
“It can be hard for a patient to know the difference between something to worry about and not,” says Dr. Louis Amendola, D.D.S., chief dental director of the 250 company-managed offices throughout California, Arizona and Nevada. “Early stages of oral cancer can develop without causing noticeable symptoms.”[ Also Read: 10 Deadly FAD Symptoms You Must Know ]
By 2030, it is projected, America’s senior population will reach 20 percent of the population – 78 million people. And a new survey indicates that Americans feel increasingly helpless about their personal cancer risk as they grow older.
So, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has highlighted the emerging research showing that even in later life, many cancers can be delayed or prevented through regular physical activity and a plant-based diet. (Read: How to Lower Your Cancer Risk)
Heavy exposure to tobacco, alcohol and sunlight are linked to oral cancer, which becomes more likely to strike in middle age. Among nonsmokers under age 50, however, the human papilloma virus (HPV) is becoming one of the leading causes of oral cancer.[ Also Read: What Celebs Do to Keep You Healthy ]
Western Dental Services suggests you to consult a dentist if you notice any symptoms of lip and oral cancer, including:
- A sore on the lip or in the mouth that doesn’t heal within 14 days.
- Unspecified or sudden numbness in the oral or facial region.
- A lump or thickening on the lips, gums, or in the neck or mouth.
- White or red patches or a mix of both on the gums, tongue, tonsils or lining of the mouth.
- Unusual bleeding, pain or numbness in the mouth or lips.
- Trouble chewing, swallowing or moving the tongue or jaw.
- A feeling that something is caught in the throat.
- Persistent ear ache.
- A hoarseness or change in voice.
- Loose teeth or dentures that no longer fit well and swelling of the jaw.
Western Dental Services, Inc., is a staff-model dental HMO and clinical provider of dental services in California.
Photo courtesy: Western Dental Services