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Screening for oral cancer and pharyngeal cancer is more important now than ever. In the past, the highest risk for oral cancer was linked to smoking, tobacco use, and excess alcohol consumption. But recently, this cancer is rising in the younger generation due to HPV, so much so that contracting HPV (the human papillomavirus) is the leading cause of oral cancer today.

Our goal is to diagnose oral cancer in its earliest stage. The key to survivability for oral and pharyngeal cancer, like any cancer, is early detection combined with early treatment. This is crucial because cure rates for this type of cancer are typically low, killing 8,000 people every year. With National Oral Cancer Awareness coming up in April, we in the dental community work to increase cancer awareness in our patients. We will be checking for the following:

Signs of Oral Cancer

  • Sore throat and neck mass.
  • Sores in the mouth that bleed easily and don’t seem to heal.
  • If you have a thick lump, hard spot, or a rough, crusty area in the mouth.
  • Tenderness, pain or numbness in the mouth.
  • How your bite is working; if the teeth fit together properly when you are biting down.

This spring season, use April as a prime time to schedule a dental checkup and cancer screening, and not just for healthier teeth and gums. Regular yearly checkups and screenings can prolong your life. To schedule a visit with Dr. Scott Elrod, please call our Distinctive Dental Services team in Lake Jackson, Texas at 979-297-0337 today.