April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April is recognized as Oral Cancer Awareness Month, a time when people around the world are encouraged to raise awareness about this devastating disease. According to the American Cancer Society, over 53,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2023, and approximately 10,860 people will die from the disease. These numbers are a sobering reminder of the importance of early detection and treatment.

Oral cancer can occur in any part of the mouth, including the tongue, gums, lips, and throat. It often starts as a small white or red spot, but it can quickly spread and become more serious if left untreated. The most common risk factors for oral cancer include tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, and exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV).

One of the biggest challenges with oral cancer is that it is often not detected until it has progressed to an advanced stage. Symptoms can include a persistent sore in the mouth, a lump or thickening of the skin, difficulty chewing or swallowing, and persistent hoarseness. Because these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, it is important to see a healthcare professional if any of them persist for more than two weeks.

Fortunately, there are steps that people can take to reduce their risk of developing oral cancer. These include avoiding tobacco products, limiting alcohol consumption, and practicing good oral hygiene. It is also important to get vaccinated against HPV, especially for individuals who are at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

Regular dental checkups are also essential for early detection and treatment of oral cancer. During a dental exam, your dentist will look for signs of oral cancer and may recommend additional testing if necessary. If oral cancer is detected early, treatment is often more effective and can result in a better outcome.

In conclusion, Oral Cancer Awareness Month in April is an important opportunity to raise awareness about the risks of oral cancer and the importance of early detection and treatment. By taking steps to reduce your risk and getting regular dental checkups, you can help protect yourself from this devastating disease. Don’t hesitate to speak to your healthcare professional if you have any concerns about oral cancer or any other health condition.


Modern Smiles Dental Care
Burlington MA Dentist Sarita Malhotra, BDS, DMD, practices a full scope of general and cosmetic dentistry with expertise ranging from porcelain veneers to dental implants, crowns and bridges. Dr. Malhotra can now correct a wide variety of so-called permanent cosmetic dental problems, and can literally redesign your smile.