Oral cancer is a deadly cancer that is often not diagnosed until it has progressed into advanced stages. Oral cancer can include cancer of the mouth, throat, tongue, and lips. Early detection and diagnosis greatly increases a patient’s chance of survival. When you visit us at Chetan Parikh, DMD, MDS, DABDSM for your regular dental exam, our knowledgeable dentist and dental team will check for the signs of oral cancer. You may be at increased risk for oral cancer if you smoke or use tobacco, abuse alcohol, or have been exposed to HPV (human papillomavirus). Twenty-five percent of all oral cancer victims, however, have no known risk factors. This makes regular screenings even more essential.

How do you treat oral cancer?

If oral cancer is detected in the early stages, treatment usually involves surgically removing the cancerous tissue. When the cancer spreads (metastasizes) to other areas of the body, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy may be needed in addition to surgical removal of the cancerous tissue.

What are the risk factors for oral cancer?

The following factors may increase your risk for developing oral cancer:

  • Tobacco use (including smoking, chewing tobacco, and smokeless cigarettes)
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Marijuana use
  • Previous history of oral cancer or precancerous lesions
  • HPV (human papillomavirus) 16/18 infection
  • Advanced age (40+ years)
  • Gender (men are twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer)

How can I reduce my risk for oral cancer?

The two most important ways to reduce your risk for oral cancer are to avoid tobacco products and to evaluate your drinking habits. In order to ensure that any signs of cancer are detected as soon as possible, allowing for the most effective treatment, we recommend that you visit us so Dr. Chetan Parikh can screen for oral cancer in Rockville, Maryland, at least once per year. To learn more about oral cancer screenings and to schedule your next visit to our dental practice, please call us today!