November is mouth cancer awareness month. Most people have heard of cancer affecting different parts of the body, but many people don’t realize that it can also occur in the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, and throat. You don’t even have to have teeth to be affected. Mouth cancer is more common in people over 40, particularly men, but in recent time it is becoming more common in women and younger patients.
Most cases of mouth cancer have been linked to alcohol and tobacco, especially chewing tobacco. Used together, alcohol and tobacco create an even greater risk for developing mouth cancer.
So how can you avoid mouth cancer? Most mouth cancer can be found early by your dentist during a mouth examination. Found early, the chances of a cure are good. It’s important to visit your dentist regularly, at least every 6 months, especially if you notice any symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Mouth Cancer include:
- Ulcers which do not heal in three weeks
- Red and white patches in the mouth
- Unusual lumps or swelling in the mouth or head and neck area
If in Doubt – Get Checked Out
Mouth Cancer can affect anyone