Oral cancer is diagnosed in nearly 35,000 Americans every year. Oral cancer can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, sinuses, and throat. While oral cancers can be life threatening, the keys to survival are early detection and early treatment. A regular oral cancer screening by your dentist, every six months, is the best way to catch cancer at its earliest stages. An oral cancer screening takes just minutes, is pain-free, and can be performed during regular dental exams and cleanings.
Oral cancer risk is affected by many factors in your life. Men are two-times more likely to develop oral cancer compared to women. Other people at risk for oral cancers include those over the age of 60, tobacco users, and heavy drinkers. However, 25% of all oral cancers develop in individuals who don't smoke or drink heavily, so it is vital to receive regular dental checkups to ensure optimal health.