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What is oral cancer? Oral cancer refers to cancer that starts in the mouth and generally, includes oropharyngeal cancer, which is cancer that starts in the throat just behind the mouth. The overall lifetime risk of developing oral cancer is approximately 1 in 60 for men and 141 for women.1 The prognosis for these cancers is good if caught early. If cancer has spread before diagnosis, the survival rate significantly decreases.
Dentists play an important role in this early detection as they are the first line of defense in noticing and spotting changes in your mouth that could potentially indicate disease.
Although a majority of people who develop oral cancer are over 60 years of age, people under the age of 40 have also been diagnosed in recent years making it clear that regular mouth exams are key no matter age.2
The signs and symptoms of oral cancer may include the following:
Make an appointment with your dentist (or doctor) if you experience any signs and symptoms that last more than two weeks.
The risk for oral cancer can be increased due to:
You can help reduce your risk of oral cancer with these lifestyle changes:
For more oral health tips, check out our blog.
1 American Cancer Society: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer/about/key-statistics.html
2 Oral Cancer Foundation: https://oralcancerfoundation.org/facts/
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*All TruAssure dental plans are offered in association with the DenteMax Plus dental network arrangement, which includes participating dentists from the United Concordia, DenteMax and Connection dental networks.
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