Believe it or not, oral cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in America, and the numbers of people contracting it keep going up according to The Oral Cancer Foundation. They estimate that this year approximately 49,750 Americans will be newly diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer. Those numbers are staggering, we know, and they are exactly why we encourage our patients to schedule and keep up with routine oral cancer screenings. At these screenings, we will check for the very first signs of mouth cancer such as:
- Lumps or unusual thickening of the lips or cheek
- Discolored or speckled patches on your oral tissue
- Persistent bad breath
- Chronic sore throat
Many times the spots, swelling, or other changes are so small in the first stages of cancer that you would probably never notice them. These first stages are when it is critical to begin treatment for the best outcome. Clearly, oral cancer screenings are nothing to ignore.