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What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer

woman getting an oral cancer screening at the dentist

Did you know that according to the American Cancer Society, the lifetime risk of developing oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer is 1 in 60 for men and 1 in 140 for women? While we’re not trying to make you worried, our team believes that information is power and that it’s a good idea to know the basics of oral cancer so you manage any potential risk you may have of developing it.

Causes of Oral Cancer

There are a few different risk factors that can increase your chances of developing oral cancer. Some you can control, and some you can’t. One of the big ones is using tobacco products, whether that’s smoking cigarettes or chewing tobacco. Heavy alcohol intake, especially along with tobacco use, sun exposure to your lips, and HPV, are other risk factors.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

The symptoms of oral cancer can vary from patient to patient but there are some common signs you can look out for. In terms of visuals, oral cancer can cause red or white patches in the mouth, rough spots in and around the mouth, facial sores that don’t heal, and swollen areas. Other common symptoms to check for include difficulty chewing, swallowing, or speaking; sore throat; mouth bleeding; and ear pain.

Oral Cancer Treatment Options

We know it can seem a little scary or overwhelming to think about cancer of any kind, but there is some good news: Oral cancer is easily treatable when it’s spotted early. That’s why it’s crucial that you see a health professional as soon as possible for an early diagnosis. Depending on the case, surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy are used to treat oral cancer.

Are you concerned that you might have oral cancer? Contact Trillium Dental today to set up your visit to our Portland office. Remember, the sooner you act the better!

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