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April is National Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Published on April 13th, 2018

Have you heard of oral cancer? The awareness of oral cancer is relatively low despite nearly 50,000 people being annually diagnosed in the United States. Broken into even more startling terms, approximately 132 new people are diagnosed with oral cancer every day and one person every hour of every day dies from oral cancer. These are statistics that our dentist in downtown Chicago simply cannot ignore.

Symptoms
Oral cancer initially appears in the mouth as a sore or a growth that won’t go away. It includes cancer of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, sinuses, hard and soft palate and throat. Common signs of oral cancer include swelling, lumps, rough spots, crusts or eroded sections of your mouth, including your lips and gums. You may also notice unexplained bleeding or numbness. As you can guess, these symptoms are painful and make it more difficult to swallow, chew and speak. Dramatic weight loss is another red flag.

Who Gets It?
Men are twice as likely as developing it than women, especially if they are 50 or older. Risk factors include smoking, using smokeless tobacco, drinking excessively and spending too much time in the sun. You can also develop it if your family has a strong history with cancer or if you have human papillomavirus (HPV).

Be Proactive
Regular appointments with our dentist in downtown Chicago can help ensure you don’t have oral cancer. We will look for any irregular lumps or growths as well as closely examining your oral cavity. It’s best to catch the cancer early on. If you do have it, you’ll need surgery as well as the proper drugs to remove it from your body. If you haven’t visited us recently, call us today to set up an appointment!

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