Oral Cancer

oralcancr1Oral cancer is on the rise. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation it has been on the increase for eight consecutive years. In the year 2007 there was an 11 percent increase in cases from the year before. It is estimated that over 43, 000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2014 including cancer located on the lips, in the mouth, and at the oropharynx (the very back of the mouth).  Twenty-four Americans die each day of oral cancer. That’s equivalent to one person every hour. In the U.S. there are 115 newly diagnosed cases each day. However, if diagnosed in the early stages, the survival rate is anywhere from 80 to 90 percent. Dentists can be a first line of defense against oral cancer. If you are due for a checkup, contact your Ankeny, IA dentist, Dr. Amanda Foust, for a complete dental and oral evaluation.

Oral Cancer Causes

According to the Oral Cancer Foundation the most common and most long-standing cause of oral cancer is from the use of alcohol and tobacco.

Tobacco: Thirty years of research has conclusively linked tobacco use to oral cancer. Cigarette smoking, the use of pipes, and cigars are considered the most preventable yet most primary causes of the disease. Long term use of snuff and chewing tobacco increases the risk of cheek and gum cancers by 50 percent.

Alcohol: Although alcohol consumption does not carry the same level of risk for oral cancer as tobacco use, heavy smoking combined with heavy drinking raises the risk of developing oral cancer significantly.

Other risk factors include:

Human papilloma virus(HPV): Although the cause of a very small percent of oral cavity cancers, the HPV virus is the leading cause of orophayngeal cancers, or cancers at the very back of the mouth or throat.

Symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Sores on the lips or in the mouth that won’t heal
  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Lump or thicknesses of the oral tissue
  • Neck lumps
  • Chronic hoarseness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Bleeding
  • Swollen lymph nodes in neck
  • Weight loss

About Dr. Amanda Foust

For more information regarding oral cancer, call Dental Impressions of Ankeny, IA to schedule an appointment with Dr. Foust at (515) 965-0230.  Since 2006, Dr. Amanda J. Foust has proudly provided compassionate and quality care to families in Ankeny, Alleman, Elkhart, Bondurant, and all surrounding communities.