April 2019 is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Dentists are often the first medical professionals to diagnose oral cancers. Dr. Dipika Shah, DDS encourages patients to not only come in for their bi-annual checkups but to also schedule an appointment when any strange symptoms occur. Prevention and early intervention are the keys to a cancer-free life.
We provide both oral cancer screenings and regular appointments for patients. If a new or strange symptom appears in your mouth, schedule an appointment. This is especially true if the symptoms have persisted for over two weeks or haven’t healed. This can be a major indicator of something more serious. Be on the lookout for these symptoms:
Mouth sores that take over fourteen days to heal, a new or strange coloring of your gums and tissue, lumps or hard spots in your mouth, bumps that bleed easily, and/or a lump on the outside of your neck that has been there for a minimum of two weeks.
The symptoms for HPV-caused oropharyngeal cancer differ from the above symptoms. These patients might experience a sore or hoarse throat, a constant cough, a lump on the neck, problems swallowing, and a pain in one or both ears.
The major risk factors for oral cancers are heavy smoking. Engaging in any tobacco products is problematic, including chewing tobacco. The other major contributing factor is contracting the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus 16.
Do not wait to make an appointment if you or a loved one are experiencing anything mentioned above. Dr. Dipika Shah, DDS is located in Holmdel, NJ. To schedule an appointment, visit our website or call 732-264-8180.