April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month
Over 40,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year and many are not diagnosed until it’s too late because patients are not being screened or attending regular appointments to stay on top of what is going on inside their mouths. As Oral Cancer Awareness Month approaches in April, it’s time to get the word out about this form of disease that strikes the mouth and throat as well as what everyone needs to do to protect themselves from this form of disease.
Diagnosis is Key
Early diagnosis is one of the most important ways to address any cancers that develop in the head and neck. The earlier that oral forms of cancer are detected, the better the prognosis for the patient. Annual screenings are a vital part of maintaining good oral hygiene and picking up any red flags during the exam. However, if patients do notice any types of changes going on with their mouths or throats, they need to stay on top of things and make another appointment between annual exams.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Any type of cancer involving the mouth or throat may not cause noticeable symptoms until it is more advanced. However, there are certain changes that signal the possibility of a serious problem. If there are sores in the mouth that won’t go away after two weeks, it’s important to get them checked. A swollen jaw that appears for no reason is another warning sign. Problems with the tongue, such as numbness or difficulty speaking, are another indication of a serious, underlying condition. Difficulties with chewing and swallowing are more warning signs. A hoarse throat that never goes away could indicate the presence of throat cancer. Paying attention to one’s body is vital in detecting anything out of the norm and having it cared for before the disease progresses.
Once any form of cancer involving the head and neck has been diagnosed, a course of treatment will be prescribed. Each individual case is unique. Surgery and the use of radiation are the most common approaches to treat any form of cancer. Chemotherapy is often advised as well in order to keep cancer from spreading to any other part of the body. The treatment plan will depend on the form of cancer and how much it has already progressed.
What Can You Do to Take Good Care of Your Mouth?
The best thing that you can do about your mouth is to have good oral hygiene and make sure you get annual oral screenings to detect any abnormalities that could be occurring in your mouth or throat. Dr. Patricia Panucci is your go-to orthodontist in Manhattan Beach when you need your next exam. You can also turn to Dr. Panucci any time that you have a concern to stay on top of your oral health. Contact your Manhattan Beach orthodontist, Dr. Patricia Panucci, and make an appointment today. Learn more BeachBraces by visiting our website.
Beach Braces 1730 Manhattan Beach Blvd. Suite B, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
TEL: 310-379-0006 Fax: (310) 379-7051
Month of Oral Cancer Awareness