Any cancer cells on the lips, tongue, gums, inside of the cheeks or other parts of the mouth are known as oral cancer. Symptoms typically present as white or red spots or sores that do not heal or go away and include pain, tenderness or difficulty swallowing, chewing or speaking. Despite the rather straightforward definition of oral cancer symptoms in Naperville, IL, many people who come into our offices and talk to Dr. Kaz Zymantas, do not realize that some common facts are actually myths. As part of Oral Cancer Awareness Month in April, we aim to debunk some of these myths.
Myth: Oral Cancer Is Easy to Detect
We will start with one of the more controversial myths. Many people believe oral cancer is easy to detect and truthfully, it is when done by a professional. The problem is many people who have oral cancer never realize it until it is too late because they do not have regular checkups. It may not be easily detected by the average person, so any symptoms should not be ignored.
Myth: Only Smokers Get Oral Cancer
While smokers are more likely to develop oral cancer, nobody is immune to the disease. It is also prevalent among tobacco chewers, excessive drinkers and people who live a generally unhealthy lifestyle. Even the healthiest person can develop the disease though. It does not discriminate.
Myth: Family History Means You Will Get Oral Cancer
While a family history might make you more susceptible to cancer, it mostly depends on lifestyle. Even so, if a family member has had oral cancer, you should make sure to receive regular screenings.
Myth: Food Additives and Preservatives Cause Cancer
Many want you to believe that additives and preservatives in food cause cancer, but this has never been proven by true scientific research. There is no correlation between oral cancer and the food you eat.
While it is good to understand the truth behind the myth, do not ignore oral cancer symptoms in Naperville, IL. Schedule a screening with us by calling 630-687-9060.