Becoming More Aware: Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Many people are familiar with cancer awareness ribbons. Colors such as pink are associated with breast cancer and blue with prostate cancer. Because of increased awareness, more men and women are getting preventative screenings and diagnosing these diseases in early stages. Over the past 20 years, there have been many working to provide the same type of awareness for the burgundy and white cancer ribbon and screenings for oral cancer. Your Spring Valley & La Mesa dentistry professionals at Hill & Scheidmiller, D.D.S., are here to spread the word that, as Oral Cancer Awareness Month, April is the perfect time to get screened.

What You Can Do

Screenings for oral cancer take very little time. They can even be completed as part of a regular dental checkup, and you only need to do them once a year. When you’re already visiting the dentist for a well check, why not get screened?

The main reason why this disease is so deadly is because it often goes undiagnosed until it reaches critical late stages. Routine screenings can help with earlier diagnoses and save many lives. It is projected that in excess of 48,000 individuals will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. According to statistics, a person dies from oral cancer every hour of every day. That’s far too many, and it’s time to increase awareness.

Common Signs

People who are at higher risk for developing oral cancer include those who smoke, drink, chew tobacco, have a family history of cancer, spend a lot of time in the sun, and have had human papillomavirus or HPV. Symptoms of a potential problem include:

  • Lumps in the neck or mouth area
  • Red or white lesions in or around the mouth
  • Pain or difficulty when moving the mouth
  • Excessive and sudden weight loss
  • Sores in or around the mouth and neck
  • Pain in or around the ears

Get Screened Today

Tell your friends and family that April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Schedule your screening today, and encourage your loved ones to do the same.