As it is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, we would like to share some helpful information about oral cancer. Oral cancer includes cancers of the mouth, throat, lips, salivary glands and tonsils.
Who Is at Risk for Oral Cancer?
There are several factors that may increase the risk of oral cancer. These include:
– Gender – Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women.
– Age – In most cases, oral cancer is diagnosed in individuals who are 55 or older. Despite this, oral cancer can also occur in those who are younger.
– Tobacco – Chewing or smoking tobacco increases the risk of oral cancer dramatically. Smoking can cause both oral cancer and cancers in other areas of the body. Chewing tobacco can lead to oral cancer of the cheeks, gums and lips.
– Alcohol – According to studies, 7 of ten oral cancer patients are heavy drinkers. Those who are both heavy drinkers and heavy smokers increase their risk of oral cancer considerably.
– Diet – If you have a diet that is low in fruits and vegetables, your risk of oral cancer can increase.
Keep in mind that if you have one of these risk factors, you will not necessarily develop oral cancer.
What Should I Expect During Oral Cancer Screenings?
Dr. Higham and Dr. Sauchelli perform an oral cancer screening during a regular cleaning and exam appointment. During your screening, your face, neck, lips, nose and oral cavity may be examined for swellings, bumps, patches of color or other abnormalities. A light and mirror may be used to allow our dentists to check all areas of your mouth.
After or during the visual portion of the screening, our dentists will feel your head and cheeks, around your jaw, in the oral cavity and under the chin to check for abnormalities like nodules or masses.
Contact our office at 561-746-8095 for more information about oral cancer or to schedule your next visit with our dentists in Jupiter, Florida.