This month, the Oral Cancer Foundation takes part in a national screening campaign as part of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, which was created to increase the American public’s awareness of oral cancer. While 132 people are diagnosed with the disease every day, many do not get screened for early detection. Even young and healthy individuals who do not smoke or use tobacco can be at risk, because oral cancer is connected to the HPV virus.
Here’s more on the possible signs and symptoms of oral cancer:
• The early stages can be painless and go unnoticed. • It may appear like a common canker sore, or a white or red patch of tissue in the mouth. • A lump in the mouth or neck, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, or numbness may be symptoms. • A persistent ear ache can also be a warning sign.
As dental professionals we take the signs of oral cancer seriously. Dentists may see or feel tissue changes of oral cancer when it is in its earliest stage, and let you know. Remember to have any sore or discoloration in your mouth checked by a doctor if it does not heal within 14 days. Check the Oral Cancer Foundation website to find free screenings near you: click here.