Oral cancer occurs both inside and outside the mouth in areas including the lips, gums, tongue, lining of the cheeks, roof, and floor of the mouth. Oral cancer is twice as common in men as in women. This may be related to the use of alcohol and tobacco. The average age that oral cancer is diagnosed is 62.
There are numerous signs and symptoms of oral cancer including:
- A sore that does not heal
- A sore that bleeds
- A growth, lump or thickening of the skin or lining of mouth
- Pain in the tongue
- Sore throat
- Difficulty chewing or swallowing
There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing oral cancer such as: tobacco use of any kind: cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, and snuff, heavy alcohol use, excessive sun exposure without proper SPF and a sexually transmitted virus called human papilloma virus (HPV).
Detecting Oral Cancer
At Alafaya Dentistry we take your well being and safety very seriously. At your initial exam and each annual exam after we perform an oral cancer screening using our VELscope technology. This tool allows us to see abnormalities long before they would visually be seen. It is estimated that these early screenings may increase your survivability rate as much as 90%.