The National Cancer Institute estimates that this year about 40,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States and that about 8,000 people will die from it.  Oral cancer forms in tissues of the oral cavity or oropharynx – the part of the throat at the back of the mouth.  The oral cavity includes your lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, the floor of the mouth, and the hard palate that makes up the roof of your mouth.

Some Facts

-          This type of cancer is more than twice as common in men than women

-          The death rate for these cancers has been decreasing over the last 30 years

-          Recent rise in cases of oropharyngeal cancer has been linked to infection with human papilloma virus (HPV) in men & women

-          While the average age of most people diagnosed is 62, it can occur in young people.  It is rare in children, but a little more than one-quarter occur in patients younger than 55 years of age.

Symptoms of mouth or throat cancer can include:

-          Sores that bleed easily or do not heal

-          A thick or hard spot or lump

-          A roughened or crusted area

-          Numbness, pain or tenderness

-          A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite down

What does the The Lee Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry do to Check for Oral Cancer?

-          At every exam we examine your lips, tongue, cheeks, palate, and part of your throat.

-          We thoroughly review your health history and ask you if you’ve felt any sores or soreness.

-          If a lesion appears suspicious, we may recommend biopsy of suspicious lesions at the office or refer to an oral surgeon for a consult and/or biopsy.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding oral cancer, please ask us at any time for more information.  We are happy to help.  At The Lee Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, your oral health is our number one concern.

Information was obtained from the following websites:

American Dental Association: http://www.ada.org/8514.aspx

Michigan Dental Association: http://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/o/oral-cancer.aspx

National Cancer Institute: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/oral

American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/oralcavityandoropharyngealcancer/detailedguide/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer-key-statistics