February 17, 2015
More than 43,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. That’s approximately one person per hour, every hour, for the entire year. The oral cancer mortality rate is particularly high due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development. While dentists routinely screen for oral cancer each time you get a dental checkup, often, the patients most at risk for developing the disease don’t see a dentist on a regular basis. Don’t jeopardize your health by skipping the dental checkup you need to stay healthy. Make an appointment with Dr. Nichols and Dr. Collins at Premier Walk-In Dental today. Premier Walk-In Dental delivers quality care daily throughout Rockledge, FL, Cocoa, Satellite Beach, Merritt Island, Viera, to Suntree, Melbourne, Palm Bay, and the surrounding communities.
What Causes Oral Cancer?
While anyone can develop oral cancer, some factors may increase your likelihood. Anything that increases your risk of getting a disease is called a risk factor, but having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer. The most common risk factors for oral cancer include:
- Gender: Oral cancer is twice as common in men as in women.
- Age: The average age at diagnosis for oral cancer is 62, and 2/3 of individuals with this disease are over age 55.
- Sunlight: Cancers of the lip are more common among people who work outdoors or others with prolonged exposure to sunlight.
- Genetics: Some inherited genetic mutations, which cause different syndromes in the body, carry a high risk of oral cancer.
- Tobacco use: About 80% of people with oral cancers use tobacco in the form of cigarettes, chewing tobacco or snuff.
- Alcohol: About 70% of people diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection: There is a strong link between HPV-16 and oral cancer. People with oral cancer linked to HPV tend to not be smokers or drinkers.
What Are The Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
- A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
- Numbness anywhere in the mouth
- Jaw pain or swelling
- Loosened teeth
- Voice changes
- Sudden unexplained weight loss
- Persistent bad breath
- A sore in the mouth that does not heal after two weeks
- Persistent mouth pain
- A lump or thickening in the cheek
- A sore throat or feeling that something is caught in the throat
If you, or someone you love, are at risk for developing oral cancer, make an appointment for an oral cancer screening with Dr. Nichols and Dr. Collins at Premier Walk-In Dental today. The experienced team at Premier Walk-In Dental proudly serve families daily throughout Rockledge, FL, Cocoa, Satellite Beach, Merritt Island, Viera, to Suntree, Melbourne, Palm Bay, and the neighboring areas.