Knowledge is one of the key tools any person can have in their arsenal when preventing oral cancer. This April, in honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Schroer would like to dispel some of the myths about the disease that may keep some patients from receiving the screenings and treatment they need. Consider the following myths and learn the real truth about oral cancer.
Myth 1: Oral Cancer Is a “Good” Cancer
Some people believe that oral cancer carries less risks than other, better-known cancers. This thinking may occur because oral cancer is not an aggressive type. Unfortunately, this is completely false. Nearly 49,000 Americans will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer this year.
Myth 2: Chewing Tobacco Is the Culprit
While chewing tobacco is one of the most easily identified causes of oral cancers, smoking it can also have the same devastating effects. Smokers are three times more likely to develop this type of cancer than those who choose to abstain. However, some people who do not practice either bad habit may develop the condition due to genetic predisposition, use of alcohol, and other risk factors.
Myth 3: Only Abnormal Growths Indicate Cancer
While lumps and bumps in the mouth may be a sign that cancer is forming in the mouth, the condition most often manifests differently. Patients should look for red or white patches, ulcers that won’t heal, or signs of unexplained swelling in all areas of the mouth. If they find any indication of one or more of these symptoms, they should immediately contact a dentist or medical professional for an oral cancer screening.
Every patient should be screened regularly for oral cancer in Williamsburg, VA to prevent the chances of a late detection. When it is caught early, oral cancer has a 90 percent survival rate. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Schroer.