All About Oral Cancer

oral cancer risk

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, and our dental office in Georgetown thought we should dedicate a blog this month to help educate our patients and community on the prevalence of oral cancer in America, what increases someone’s likelihood of developing the disease, and how to spot signs of oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Statistics

Like any other cancer, oral cancer is a complicated disease that takes the lives of many individuals. While scientists continue researching cures and treatments are always improving, the data surrounding the oral cancer epidemic is still scary.

  • According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, nearly 50,000 Americans will be newly diagnosed with oral cancer in 2017.
  • Of those, only a little over half are expected to live longer than 5 years.
  • This year alone, oral cancer will kill one person every hour of every day.
  • Across the globe, an estimated 450,000 oral cancer diagnoses are made each year.

Oral Cancer Risks

While anyone can develop oral cancer, there are several factors that increase the likelihood of diagnosis. Of these, there are few we can control and others we can’t.

  • The top risk factor is tobacco use. An estimated 80% of oral cancer patients are, or have been, tobacco users.
  • As we get older, our risk of oral cancer increases. The majority of oral cancer patients are over the age of 55.
  • Gender can also play a role. Men are two times more likely to develop oral cancer than women.
  • Drinking alcohol heavily also increases your risk.   

Oral Cancer Symptoms

  • Pain while swallowing, chewing, or speaking
  • Changes in voice
  • A sore or discoloration that doesn’t go away after two weeks
  • A lump inside the mouth or neck
  • Chronic bad breath

Signs of oral cancer can be similar to other non-serious oral health issues. If you notice any of the symptoms above, we strongly encourage you to call your dentist in Georgetown as soon as you can. Early detection of oral cancer greatly increases the chance for successful treatment. This is also one reason why you should see your dentist at least every six months.

At our Georgetown dental office, we care about keeping our neighbors healthy. If there are any questions we can answer, or if you’re looking for advice on oral cancer treatment, give us a call.

Make The World a Better Place This Earth Day

Earth DayApril 22nd is Earth Day, a worldwide celebration where we all take a moment to reflect on the natural world around us and do what we can to help preserve it.  At Trade Winds Dental, we strive to live green every single day, but we’re especially observant advocates on this annual holiday.

So think about it, what can you do to make the world a better place? The answers may be simpler than you think. Here’s a few suggestions:

Plant a Tree in Your Community – Plenty of organizations, such as the Arbor Day Association, the National Wildlife Federation and even many local nurseries have trees or seedlings available at low or no-cost. Trees are not only beautiful, they also help to clean the air, prevent soil erosion, and provide us with the oxygen that we need to survive. Plant a tree in your backyard or see if there’s a community planting event.

Head to the Farmers Market – We have a fantastic farmers market here in Georgetown. Buying fresh fruits, vegetables, flowers, and more from our local farmers helps support both your community and the natural, beautiful world right around us. 

Support Ethical Trade – Have you thought about where the goods in your home or the clothing and accessories wear actually come from? Try to frequent businesses that support artisans with fair wages and services to third world countries, like StriveGreen in Austin. 

Advocate for Change – You may have heard the quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Remember that nothing changes until someone has the courage to stand up and say something. Start a recycling program at work or at home, set up a carpool, or ask your boss how you can help to make your workplace more green.

See, that’s not so hard! Connect to your favorite social media and blog feeds on Earth Day and see what other suggestions for environmental action are out there that you and your family can do. And be sure to ask the staff at Trade Winds Dental for ideas as well – we’ve got TONS of ways to help the environment in your everyday living.

Make it Local! Make it Green! Make the world a better place!

HAPPY EARTH DAY!