Your Livonia Dentist Asks: Would You Know the Signs of Oral Cancer?

The American Cancer Society estimates that 35,000 people will get oral cancer in 2012, and the number of fatalities is estimated at approximately 6,800. The good news, however, is that the death rate from oral cancer has declined steadily since the 1970s – a statistic many experts credit to early detection.*

The Oral Cancer Quiz

Because early detection is important, you should know the risks and signs. Take this quiz to find out how much you know about oral cancer.

Q1) True or false: Skipping sunscreen on sunny days can increase your oral cancer risk.

Q2) True or false: You should perform an oral cancer self-check twice a year.

Q3) True or false: Canker sores are always harmless.

Q4) True or false: Suspicious discolorations are often red or white.

Q5) True or false: An oral brush biopsy requires local anesthesia.

Q6) True or false: Oral cancer is beyond my control.

 Answers: What You Know About Oral Cancer

Q1) True. The delicate skin on your lips is especially vulnerable to the sun. Use sunblock on your skin and a high-SPF lip balm to protect your lips.

Other risks for oral cancer include using tobacco products, consuming alcohol heavily, and having a previous diagnosis of oral cancer.

Q2) False. You should check monthly for signs of oral cancer. Examine the inside of your mouth for lumps, suspicious lesions, and discolorations, such as red or white patches. Oral cancer is often found in places you may not think to look, such as under the tongue or inside the cheeks.

Q3) False. Although mouth sores are usually noncancerous, schedule an appointment with your Livonia dentist if you have a mouth sore that does not heal in about two weeks.

Q4) True. Mouth discolorations indicating oral cancer tend to be red or white.

Q5) False. An oral brush biopsy, which collects abnormal mouth tissue for cancer testing, is basically painless and requires no anesthesia.

Q6) False. Although you can’t eliminate your oral cancer risk, you can reduce it. Protect your skin and lips with high-SPF sunblock, give up tobacco products, moderate your alcohol consumption, and eat a healthy, balanced diet.

For preventive and restorative dental care, and to maintain your oral health, schedule your appointment with Dr. Stewart today by contacting our Livonia dental office at (734)425-4400. We gladly serve patients from Livonia and the surrounding 48151 area, Farmington Hills, Farmington, Plymouth, Northville, Novi, Dearborn Heights, and Dearborn.