April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month
Longtime patients know that our dental professionals perform routine oral cancer screenings during cleaning appointments. We do this because catching cancer early is very important. Because April is Oral Cancer Awareness month, we want to take a few minutes to remind you of risk factors for this disease.
Mouth Healthy, a website maintained by the American Dental Association(ADA) has a slide show on oral cancer. One slide notes that “approximately 49,750 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer and cancers of the throat, tonsils and back of the tongue in 2017.” Risk factors listed in this slide show to be aware of:
- Oral cancer tends to strike those 55 and older
- Men have a higher risk of contracting the disease
- The risk of contracting oral cancer increases for people who use tobacco products, especially those who chew tobacco
- There is an increase in oral cancer related to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
- Sun exposure can increase risks of all sorts of cancer, including oral cancer
- Poor diets, especially those lacking in vegetables and fruits, can increase cancer risks
- 7 out of 10 individuals diagnosed with oral cancer are heavy drinkers
Take time this month to educate yourselves on this disease.