The term oral cancer includes cancers of the mouth, lips and the pharynx (the back of the throat). Approximately 35,000 new cases of oral cancer are expected in the United States each year.
Oral cancer can spread quickly. On average, more than 50 percent of those with oral cancer will not survive more than five years.
Some of the things that put people at risk for oral cancer include:
Here are some symptoms of Oral Cancer:
A person who has any of these symptoms for more than 2 weeks should see a dentist or doctor for an oral cancer exam. Most often, symptoms like those listed above do not mean cancer. An infection or another problem can cause the same symptoms. But it's important to have the symptoms checked out-because if it is cancer, it can be treated more successfully if it's caught early.
It is important to find oral cancer as early as possible when it can be treated successfully. An oral cancer examination can detect early signs of cancer. Oral cancer exams are painless and quick - and take only a few minutes.
Your regular dental check-up or physical examination is an excellent opportunity to have the examination. During the examination, your health-care provider will check your face, neck, lips and entire mouth for possible signs of cancer.
Some parts of the pharynx or back of the throat are not visible during an oral cancer exam, and you may be referred to a specialist.
You can help to prevent oral cancer. Most oral cancer is preventable. Early detection is important!
Do you need help quitting tobacco?
NDQuits offers free assistance to help people quit using tobacco products. Call 1.800.QUIT.NOW for free coaching, online support, and tobacco cessation products to help you quit.
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
North Dakota Department of Health