Oral Cancer: What You Need to Know
Did you know – almost 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year, and according to the Oral Cancer Foundation, 8,000 will die of this disease. Oral cancer kills roughly 1 person every hour, 24 hours a day. And of those 42,000 Americans, only slightly more than half will be alive in five years. These are very sobering statistics. Oral cancer is one of many of cancers categorized as head and neck cancers. These include cancers of the mouth and throat. Oral cancer most often occurs in people over the age of 40 and affects two times as many men as women. Most oral cancers are preventable. The majority of mouth cancers are related to the use of tobacco, alcohol and both substances together. To be treated successfully, it’s important to detect oral cancer early. See a dentist or physician if any of the following symptoms lasts for more than two weeks.
- A sore, irritation, lump or thick patch in your mouth, lip or throat.
- A white or red patch in your mouth.
- A feeling that something is caught in your throat.
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing.
- Difficulty moving your jaw or tongue.
- Numbness in your tongue or other areas of your mouth.
- Swelling of your jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable.
- Pain in one ear without hearing loss.