HER HEALTH - Sponsored Section

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month...Here is what you should know…

By Drs. Ushma Patel & Brittany Corbett
Posted

Did you know almost 42,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral and throat cancers this year? And that the 5-year survival rate of those diagnosed is only slightly more than 64 percent? When cancer is detected and treated early, treatment-related health problems are reduced. Over half of those in the U.S. survive from oral cancer after five years. If this condition is caught early enough, the chances of successful treatment are high.

Dentists look for early signs of mouth cancer during regular checkup appointments, but it's also important for you to recognize these warning signals so you can bring them to the attention of your dentist right away. Mouth cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, including the lips, tongue and throat, as well as the salivary glands, pharynx, larynx and sinuses. And because early detection is crucial in overcoming this disease, you'll want to visit your doctor immediately if any of the following symptoms persist for more than two weeks:

  • Sores, swellings, lumps or thick patches anywhere in or around your mouth or throat
  • Areas of red or white lesions in your mouth or lips
  • The feeling of a lump or object stuck in your throat
  • Swellings that make wearing dentures uncomfortable
  • Numbness, pain or tenderness anywhere in your mouth, including your tongue
  • Pain in one of your ears but without any loss of hearing
  • Trouble moving your jaw or tongue, or problems with chewing, swallowing or speaking
  • Loose teeth with no apparent dental cause
  • Lingering sore throat or hoarseness

Oral cancer examinations by your dentist are quick, painless and crucial to detecting it in its early stages. During a routine checkup of your teeth and gums, your dentist also visually checks your lips and face for signs of spreading beyond your mouth. He or she may also palpate the neck and jaw area, and examine both the top and underside of your tongue. These oral cancer screenings should be done every six months.

Ultimately, if you know what to look for and see your dentist for regular screenings, early signs of mouth cancer can be identified and taken care of before they become a serious problem. We also use the non-invasive OralID Light for Oral Cancer screening.

Call us at 770-884-6623 to schedule your checkup. Or visit us at  www.HiTechSmiles.com. ■

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This month's issue

Amanda Wilbanks blends her love of baking and business savvy through Southern Baked Pie Company.  Read more page 20.


 

 

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