Protect Yourself- April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, a time when your dental office rallies to defend against and bring awareness to a serious disease. Although some may think oral cancer is rare, it will affect nearly 40,000 people in the U.S. and more than 8,000 will die this year. The high death rate is attributed to the fact that most oral cancers go undiagnosed until the disease is well progressed and has spread. Early detection and defense is crucial to survival. Dr. Ridl and our team are devoted to ensuring each patient receives a thorough oral cancer screening at your routine dental visit. So protect yourself and make sure your next dental visit is on the calendar.
Are you at risk?
It may be surprising to find out that the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients are young, healthy, nonsmoking individuals. For this reason it is more important than ever for all adults to have regular oral cancer screenings. So get checked, and stay a step ahead of oral cancer this April. Knowing the risks and symptoms for oral cancer is also very important. They include:
- Smoking and tobacco use
- Heavy alcohol use
- The HPV virus, a sexually-transmitted disease, is the leading cause of oropharyngeal (the back part of the mouth) cancer.
- Sores in the mouth that do not heal
- A thick or hard spot or lump
- A roughened or crusted area
- A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down
- Look for changes in color, shape, size or consistency of any bumps, lumps, or lesions.
Contact Dr. Ridl and our team at 509-235-6241 if you have any questions regarding oral cancer or need to schedule your routine dental visit including an oral cancer screening.