The American Dental Association reports that 1 out of every 92 adults will develop some form of oral or pharyngeal cancer in their lifetime. While the average age of diagnosis is 62 years of age, increased risk factors such as regular tobacco use, increased alcohol consumption, or a family history of cancer, increase your chances of developing oral cancer at a younger age.
Catching oral or pharyngeal cancer early, will greatly increase your chances for successful treatment.
Your regular dental checkup includes Dr. Spear performing a basic oral cancer screening. This is a quick examination of your tongue, throat, face, and neck for signs of swelling or discoloration. It’s a good idea to let Dr. Spear know about any increased risk factors for oral cancer you might have, such as a family history of oral cancer as well as regular alcohol or tobacco use.
Being mindful of some of the common, early symptoms of oral or pharyngeal cancer can help catch a problem between dental checkups. These symptoms might include a persistent pain in your mouth, which could also be associated with swelling or a lump in your cheek. Red or white areas on your gums, tongue and tonsil are also a cause for concern. People that develop pharyngeal cancer often experience a persistent sore throat or a feeling like a foreign object is stuck at the back of the throat.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of oral or pharyngeal cancer, you should call Dr. Spear at 817.920.1488 to schedule an appointment.