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April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month: What You Need to Know

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Introduction: Oral Cancer Awareness Month

April marks a significant month in the health calendar: Oral Cancer Awareness Month. This month serves as a vital reminder of the importance of oral health and the dangers posed by oral cancer. With an increasing number of cases being reported annually, awareness and early detection have never been more crucial. Understanding the risk factors, recognizing the symptoms, and seeking timely medical intervention can significantly improve treatment outcomes. Emergency Dental of Milwaukee aims to educate and empower individuals to take an active role in their oral health, shedding light on the various facets of oral cancer.

Understanding Oral Cancer

Oral cancer refers to cancers found in the mouth, on the tongue, lips, throat, or gums. It’s a serious medical condition, characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in these regions. Recent statistics reveal that thousands are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, and while survival rates have improved with advances in medical science, the numbers remain alarming. The five-year survival rate for those diagnosed at an early stage is considerably higher than for those diagnosed at a later stage, underscoring the importance of early detection.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

The two most significant risk factors for oral cancer are tobacco and alcohol use. Smokers and heavy drinkers are at a substantially higher risk of developing this disease. Additionally, infection with certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV) has been linked to oral cancers, particularly those occurring at the back of the mouth. Other risk factors include excessive sun exposure to the lips and a family history of cancer. It’s important to note that oral cancer can affect anyone, not just those considered high-risk. Hence, awareness and regular screenings are essential for everyone.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Recognizing the symptoms of oral cancer can lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment. Common signs include persistent sores or ulcers in the mouth that do not heal within two weeks, unexplained lumps or thickening in the mouth or neck, difficulty swallowing or persistent sore throat, and changes in voice or hoarseness. Unexplained bleeding, numbness, and changes in the fit of dentures are also warning signs. If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly.

 Prevention and Early Detection

Preventing oral cancer involves lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and reducing alcohol consumption. Regular dental check-ups at Emergency Dental of Milwaukee are vital as our dentists can often spot the early signs of oral cancer. Routine screenings, including self-examinations, can help detect oral cancer at an early, more treatable stage. A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables may also lower the risk.

The Role of Emergency Dental Services

Emergency Dental of Milwaukee’s services play a pivotal role in the early detection of oral cancer. They offer comprehensive oral cancer screenings as part of routine dental check-ups. These services are not just for emergencies but are available to anyone concerned about their oral health. Timely screening at Emergency Dental of Milwaukee can be a critical step in catching oral cancer early when treatment is most effective.


Oral Cancer Awareness Month is not just a time for awareness, but also a call to action. We encourage everyone to take their oral health seriously, be vigilant about changes in their mouth, and participate in Oral Cancer Awareness Month activities. Remember, early detection saves lives. Schedule a screening appointment at Emergency Dental of Milwaukee today, and take a proactive step toward safeguarding your health.

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