Oral Cancer FAQs from Your South Austin Dentist

This past Sunday was National Cancer Survivors’ Day, an annual celebration of life observed on the first Sunday in June. Cancer can affect any part of the body, but Dr. Van Wicklen would like to share information with you about oral cancer. In the United States, this disease claims a life every hour of every day. To protect yourself from oral cancer, you need to know the facts.

What are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

Symptoms of oral cancer include swelling of the lips and gums, red or white patches inside the mouth (often beneath the tongue), chronic sore throat, and difficulty chewing and swallowing. The mouth and throat, however, are not the only areas that oral cancer can affect. Sometimes, patients with this disease also experience ear pain and extreme weight loss. If you notice any of these symptoms, pay a visit to your South Austin dentist, Dr. Van Wicklen, as soon as possible for a thorough evaluation.

Who is at Risk for Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer can affect anyone, but certain individuals are more prone to developing it than others. Men over the age of 50 fall into the high-risk category. Smoking, using tobacco products, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol, staying in the sun too long without sunscreen, and having a family history of cancer are also risk factors.

How Can I Prevent Oral Cancer?

To increase your chances of an oral cancer-free life, you must treat your body with respect. Refrain from smoking, don’t binge drink, beware of too much sun exposure, and stick to a healthy, balanced diet. In addition, remember to visit your South Austin dentist for regular checkups, every six months. Dr. Van Wicklen will screen you for any signs of oral cancer – and remember, early detection can lead to a more successful treatment.

Keep your mouth healthy, and schedule a consultation with Dr. Van Wicklen today. Simply call our Austin, Texas dental office at (512) 448-3131. We take care of patients throughout the South Austin area.