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It might be surprising to hear, but oral and pharyngeal cancer are more prevalent than most people realize. In fact, research published by the American Dental Association found that each year one in 92 adults are diagnosed with some form of oral or pharyngeal cancer. While the average age of occurrence is 62 years of age, increased risk factors, such as a family history of oral cancer, tobacco use and alcohol abuse, increase your chances of developing oral cancer.

Being wary of the early symptoms of oral or pharyngeal cancer can lead to early diagnosis, which significantly improves treatment options and success rates.

Early symptoms of oral cancer often involve 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 patches on your gums, tongue, or tonsils.

Pharyngeal cancer, also known as throat cancer, can have symptoms that include a persistent sore throat or a feeling like something is stuck at the back of your throat.

An oral cancer screening is included in your regular dental checkup at Don Harvey Dental. This includes a thorough examination of your tongue, throat, face, and neck for signs of swelling or discoloration. Be sure to mention any increased risk factors for oral cancer you might have.

Should Dr. Harvey and Dr. Sunny detect any signs of oral or pharyngeal cancer, they will refer you to a specialist for further diagnosis and treatment.

If you live in the Alpharetta, Georgia, area and you are experiencing symptoms of oral or pharyngeal cancer, you should call 770-343-6565 to schedule a checkup and screening with our dentists.