Oral Cancer: It Can Happen to You

Each time you visit yourJacksonville, NC, dentist, you have the chance to have an oral cancer screening. Having these screenings on a regular basis is important for your overall health. Many people believe that oral cancer is rare or that they personally are very unlikely to develop it. However, oral cancer happens more often than you may think.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is the term used for cancer that occurs anywhere in the mouth, the sinuses or the throat. Note that it’s not just the gum tissue where oral cancer can develop. It may also occur on the tongue, cheeks, soft palate, hard palate, and floor of the mouth. Oral cancer is just as serious as other kinds of cancers, and, like other cancers, early detection is key to survival. Left undiagnosed and untreated, oral cancer can be fatal.

Who Gets Oral Cancer?

One dangerous misconception about oral cancer is that it only happens to people who smoke. This myth gives the general population a false sense of complacency where oral cancer is concerned. In fact, there are many risk factors for oral cancer aside from smoking. They are:

  • Alcoholism
  • Exposure to UV radiation from the sun or tanning beds
  • History of HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • Genetics

The genetic component of oral cancer risk is worth further explanation. If you have a family member who has oral or another type of cancer, your risk for oral cancer is higher, even if you have a different lifestyle. This is partially due to certain genetic mutations and inherited conditions.

Cancer Screenings in Jacksonville, Florida

With routineoral cancer screenings in Jacksonville, FL, you can do your part to help ensure the best chances of early detection and subsequent treatment. Contact us today to book your next dental exam. We look forward to seeing you!

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