This post from The Parkway Dentist in Fort Worth focuses on a very serious matter—oral (oropharyngeal) cancers.
The medical community distinguishes oral cancers as a subset of head and neck cancers. They can arise in the following locations:
- The tongue
- The roof of the mouth and under the tongue
- The inside of the cheeks
- The oropharynx (the part behind the soft palate)
- The salivary glands
- The lips
Oral Cancers Are Particularly Deadly
Over 50,000 people annually are diagnosed with a type of oral cancer. They are more than twice as prevalent in men. There is no disparity when it comes to blacks or whites. Oral cancers claim over 10,000 victims per year.
The statistics reveal that only 57 percent of those diagnosed this year will be alive in five years. Talk about a grim outlook.
Any sore or lump in the mouth or throat should be taken seriously. Any white or red patch could also be a symptom.
Don’t Ignore These Signs!
You will want to get checked out if you:
- Have a lump or thickening in your throat
- Have white or red patches on your tongue, tonsils, or lining of your cheeks and gums
- Notice numbness of any oral feature
- Have any type of lesion, cut, or canker-type sore that doesn’t heal within 14 days
Less-common symptoms include tongue pain and loose teeth. A hoarse voice that doesn’t go away should be a concern. Unexplained tooth discoloration is rare but not unheard of.
It’s a misconception to think any of these signs can’t lead to problems.
Getting checked for oral (or any) cancer regularly is essential for many reasons, but the most may be that early diagnosis gives you the best chance for successful treatment. Oral cancer screenings are part of every checkup at The Parkway Dentist in Fort Worth. Services include general and cosmetic dentistry. Schedule an appointment today!
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