It is reported that 1 in 92 adults, a little less than 1 percent of the population, will develop some form of oral or pharyngeal cancer during the course of their life. Even though the average age of diagnosis is 62 years old, there are several risk factors which can increase your chances of developing oral or pharyngeal cancer at a younger age. Early detection of oral or pharyngeal cancer greatly increases your chances of a successful treatment.
You should be especially wary of the early symptoms of oral and pharyngeal cancer if you have a family history of oral cancers, use tobacco products on a regular basis, or consume alcohol frequently. In general, men are almost twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women.
Early symptoms of oral cancer include a persistent pain in your mouth, which may also be associated with swelling or a lump in your cheek. Red or white areas on your gums, tongue, and tonsils can also be significant warning signs.
Early symptoms of pharyngeal cancer often include a persistent sore throat or a feeling like a foreign object is stuck at the back of the throat.
As part of your regular dental checkup, our dentist performs a basic oral cancer screening. This involves examining your tongue, throat, face, and neck for signs of swelling or discoloration. Make sure we know about any increased risk factors for oral cancer, such as a family history of oral cancer as well as regular alcohol or tobacco use.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of oral or pharyngeal cancer, you need to call Robert Rust, Jr., DMD, as soon as possible to schedule an appointment.