April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Common names for oral cancer include mouth cancer, tongue cancer, tonsil cancer, & throat cancer. Approximately 42,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2013. When found at early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80-90% survival rate. Unfortunately at this time, the majority of cases are found as late stage cancers. This accounts for the very high death rate of about 43% at five years from diagnosis.

It is important to be aware of changes in your mouth or throat. Always contact your doctor or dentist immediately if you notice the following symptoms:

  • A sore or lesion in the mouth that does not heal within two weeks.
  • A lump or thickening in the cheek.
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth.
  • A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat.
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing.
  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue.
  • Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth.
  • Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable.
  • Chronic hoarseness.

These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, but they also indicate the possible presence of oral cancer. Dr. Haag is trained to identify oral cancers and at Creekview Dental, we offer the VELscope Oral Cancer Screening, which aids in the early detection of oral cancers. Click here to watch an actual VELscope Oral Cancer Screening on the Dr. Oz show.

Request the VELscope Oral Cancer Screening at your next appointment.