What to Know About Oral Cancer

Published on April 24th, 2020 by Michael C. Griffin, D.M.D.

Did you know that April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month? This annual awareness month aims to shed light on the importance of oral cancer and being aware of its early warning signs. Over 50,000 people in the US alone will be diagnosed with oral or esophageal cancers each year and roughly 40 percent of those diagnosed will not survive longer than 5 years. Our dentist in Lakeview wants to highlight some warning signs about oral cancer so you can take action if need be.

Warning Signs

Regularly self-checking your mouth for signs and symptoms can ensure you aren’t suffering in silence. Warning signs include:

  • A lump or hard tissue mass typically located on the border of the tongue
  • A red, white or black discoloration on the soft tissues of the mouth
  • A painless lump on the outside of the neck that is there for at least 2 weeks
  • An abnormality in the mouth that easily bleeds
  • A sore underneath a denture that doesn’t heal

Risk Factors

The risk of developing oral cancer increases in those who heavily smoke or drink, especially those 50 years or older. Human papillomavirus is also related to the increased chances of developing oropharyngeal cancer. Men are four times as likely to develop oral cancer compared to women. To reduce your risk of developing oral cancer, keep alcohol consumption to a minimum and cut out all forms of tobacco. Make sure to complete self-checks of the mouth in addition to visiting our dentist in Lakeview on a regular occasion.

When in doubt, turn to a professional to get your mouth examined. Our team at Northalsted Dental Spa is only a phone call away.

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Northalsted Dental Spa

3710 N Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60613


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