It doesn’t matter the area cancer is affecting, it is serious and should never be taken lightly. But unfortunately, cancer doesn’t have obvious symptoms we can distinguish without involving a professional. This is why it is important that you keep your checkups in order to maintain your health. April is known as National Oral Cancer Awareness Month, so in order to properly celebrate, let’s take a look at what it’s all about. There are several types of oral cancers, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, soft and hard palate, sinuses and throat. At your dental checkups, your mouth, head and neck will be checked for any abnormal lumps, or tissue that looks out of the ordinary.
The symptoms of oral cancer can be tricky but include swelling, lumps, bumps, rough spots, or eroding on lips, tongue, or any area in the mouth. There can also be difficulty swallowing, chewing, or moving the jaw or tongue, unexplained bleeding, persistent sores lasting longer than two weeks and severe weight loss. If you notice any of these symptoms, it does not always mean cancer, but you should always have them examined. Self-checking every month is a good way to be aware. Simply, being familiar with your own mouth can help you notice if something is suddenly different.
A good defense to oral cancer is being educated and prepared through early detection. Your dentist will have a test that can detect cells that can be precancerous. This is another great way to offer great care for patients.
To learn more about oral cancer, contact Dr. Johns at 650-697-2073 or visit his website at www.chrisjohnsdds.com.
Dr. Chris Johns also proudly accepts patients from Millbrae and all surrounding areas.