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Oral Cancer Awareness Month is here! To celebrate, we would like to provide some helpful information about oral cancer (cancers of the lip, mouth, back of the throat, tonsils and salivary glands) and oral cancer screenings.

Who Is at Risk for Oral Cancer?
There are several factors that can increase the risk of oral cancer. These include:

Age – In most instances, oral cancer is diagnosed in individuals who are 55 or older. However, oral cancer can also occur in those who are younger.
Gender – Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women.
Alcohol – According to studies, 7 of ten oral cancer patients are heavy drinkers. Those who are both heavy drinkers and heavy smokers increase their risk of oral cancer dramatically.
Tobacco – Chewing or smoking tobacco increases the risk of oral cancer significantly. Smoking can cause both oral cancer and cancers in other areas of the body. Chewing tobacco can lead to oral cancer of the cheeks, gums and lips.

Keep in mind that if you have one of these risk factors, oral cancer is not inevitable.

What Should I Expect During Oral Cancer Screenings?
Dr. Kane, Dr. Chan and Dr. Marie can perform an oral cancer screening during a regular dental appointment. During your screening, your face, neck, lips, nose and oral cavity will be examined for swellings, bumps, patches of color or other abnormalities. A light and mirror may be used to allow our dentists to check all areas of your mouth.

After or during the visual portion of the screening, our dentist will feel the head and cheeks, around the jaw, in the oral cavity and under the chin to check for abnormalities.

Feel free to contact Valley Dental Group at 425-271-1727 to learn more about oral cancer or to schedule your next visit with our dentists in Renton, Washington.