Your personal habits largely determine your risk of oral cancer. Most important amongst them include how frequently you consume tobacco and alcohol. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you may have a higher risk of oral cancer. Regular visits to the dentist and maintaining excellent oral hygiene on a daily basis is as important.
Do you smoke cigarettes, pipes, cigars, use smokeless tobacco, snuff, chew tobacco, or chew betel nuts?
Do you drink alcohol or have in the past?
Do you spend a lot of time outdoors for work or play?
How frequently do you visit your dentist?
How often do you brush and floss your teeth?
Your personal health history impacts your risk of getting oral cancer. You might be at a higher risk of oral cancer if you or a sibling or parent have had oral cancer in the past. A HPV infection makes you more susceptible to oral cancer.
Have you or anyone amongst your parents/siblings ever had oral cancer?
Have you ever had a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection?
Do you have any raised, red patches inside of your mouth that cannot be associated with a burn, abrasion or trauma, or have any thickened, white patches on your gums or the insides of your cheeks?
Do you have any unexplained bleeding in the mouth or unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain in any portion of the face, mouth, or neck, or a change in voice?
Do you have any persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed and have not healed in 2 weeks, or a feeling that something is stuck in the back of the throat, or difficulty moving the jaw or tongue, chewing, swallowing or speaking?
Oral cancer can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. Dental examinations, that include a screening for oral cancer, can help in the early detection of oral cancer.
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