Oral Cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the world, it kills about one-third of those diagnosed with it, and 28,000 new cases occur each year. And over 25% of oral cancers occur in people who don’t smoke or have other lifestyle risk factors.
Now that we’ve got your attention—there’s hope.
Trouble Spots—Oral Lesions
Are there any red or white spots you haven’t noticed before? Maybe you’ve taken a wait-and-see approach to a small sore you found last week. Any unexplained swelling? Discoloration that doesn’t hurt a lick? Come on in; we need to see what you see.
Most oral lesions, as we call them, are harmless. A piece of crusty French bread with dinner can scratch delicate tissues. But if you use tobacco and alcohol, have or have had HPV, or are being treated for any number of systemic diseases—diabetes, autoimmune disorders among them—that harmless irritation is a red flag. During your dental appointment, we’ll take a closer look. When we find a lesion, suspicious or not, we intend to err on the cautious side.
About Oral Cancer
- Accounts for 6% of all cancers
- Symptoms: white spots on gums, “sores that won’t heal”
- Typical victims: smokeless tobacco users; older men; alcohol drinkers
- More than 25% of cases occur in non-smokers under 40
- HPV plays a role in more than 20% of cases
- First to notice symptoms: often, the family dentist
- Early detection can lead to life-saving treatment