Maybe you know that tobacco and drinking alcohol can increase your risk of developing oral or throat cancer. But the fastest growing cause of these cancers is the HPV virus, or the human papillomavirus. In fact, if you have HPV, you are 30 times more likely to get oral cancer. and it is affecting young people with increasing frequency.
That’s why everyone should perform an oral-cancer self-exam each month. stand in front of a mirror in a well-lit area. Feel the inside of your lips and cheeks, the roof of your mouth, the front and back of your gums, and all the surfaces of your tongue. Look for lumps, bumps, sores that don’t heal, or discolored patches. oral cancer can happen to anyone.
Early detection is the key to a cure. If you find anything unusual, see your general dentist or an oral and facial surgeon as soon as possible.
© American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons