April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Each year, approximately 43,250 people in the United States receive the diagnosis of oral cancer. Most people are unaware of the importance of early diagnosis of oral cancer for a full recovery. This month, the Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF) invites you to do your part by getting screened and by raising awareness of the issue so that others will get screened too.
For decades, smoking and tobacco use were the top risk factors for oral cancer. In recent years, the human papillomavirus or HPV has become a leading risk factor, particularly among the young, healthy, non-smoking sector of the population.
The prevalence of the disease has also come through changes in sexual practices that began in the 1960s and 1970s. The more the health care professionals and their patients can do to raise awareness about oral cancer, including prevention and early detection, the better.
While there are key risk factors for oral cancer, you don't have to smoke, use tobacco, or contract HPV to get oral cancer. The best way to prevent oral cancer and other serious oral health conditions is to have two check-ups with a dentist per year.
Most people don't know that they have an oral problem until the symptoms become severe. A dentist can detect these issues early, increasing your chances of making a complete recovery. If you develop symptoms of oral cancer in between check-ups, such as unusual bleeding or a lump in the mouth, make an appointment right away.
Plaza Dental Group (PDG) places a high priority on oral hygiene and the prevention of oral cancer. During the month of April, we are conducting FREE oral cancer screenings. Set up an appointment today by filling out our online request form or by calling 515-612-7148.