Published: 04/25/2016

A term used to describe cancers of the lips, tongue, gums, soft or hard palate or other parts of the oral cavity, oral cancer will affect tens of thousands of Americans this year. Unfortunately many people will not even realize they have the disease until the later stages. Oral Cancer Awareness Month, which is in April, is fast approaching. There is no better time than now to learn the facts surrounding oral cancer in Thousand Oaks, CA.

Prevalence in the United States

About 48,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone. Nearly 10,000 people—roughly one per hour—will die from the disease. While these statistics sound scary, the truth is it does not need to be this way. Many people who succumb to cancer may not have received a diagnosis during the earliest stages. The good news is you can take steps now to ensure you receive proper screenings each year.

Common Symptoms

Although many of the below symptoms can also be signs of other conditions, schedule an appointment with our team if you notice any of the following:

• Velvety white, red or speckled patches in the mouth
• Lumps or bumps around the lips, gums or inside the mouth
• Rough spots or crusts
• Unexplained bleeding or numbness in the mouth or surrounding areas
• Sores that do not seem to heal within two weeks
• Difficulty chewing or swallowing
• A feeling of a lump in the throat with no explanation

Some risk factors that may contribute to the development of oral cancer include smoking, using smokeless tobacco, family history of cancer, certain strains of HPV (human papillomavirus) or excessive alcohol consumption.

If you would like to take the step to get screened during Oral Cancer Awareness Month, please contact our office at (844) 791-9180 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jacqueline Subka. The screening process is usually non-invasive, and is a crucial step in ruling out any oral health concerns.

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