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Studies conducted by the American Dental Association found that statistically 1 out of every 92 adults will develop some form of oral or pharyngeal cancer in their lifetime. While the average age of detection is 62 years old, increased risk factors such as a family history of oral cancer, tobacco use, and alcohol abuse increases your chances of developing oral cancer at a younger age. Statistically, males are almost twice as likely to develop oral or pharyngeal cancer than females. Identifying and diagnosing oral cancer early will improve your chances of successful treatment.

Early symptoms of oral cancer often include a persistent pain in your mouth, which might also be associated with swelling or a lump in your cheek or gums. This usually happens in conjunction with red or white areas on your gums, tongue or tonsils. However, in its early stages, oral and pharyngeal cancer may be asymptomatic.

Pharyngeal cancer, sometimes referred to as throat cancer can have symptoms that includes a persistent sore throat or a feeling like something is stuck at the back of your throat.

Every dental checkup performed includes a routine oral and pharyngeal cancer screening. This includes a thorough examination of your tongue, throat, face, and neck for signs of swelling or discoloration. Be sure to tell your dentist about any increased risk factors for oral cancer, such as a family history of oral cancer as well as regular alcohol or tobacco use.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of oral or pharyngeal cancer, you should not delay in calling Dr. Packman’s office at 704-873-2211 for a thorough examination.