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This October, while the U.S. is celebrating National Dental Hygiene Month, over in the U.K. the British Dental Health Foundation has launched their Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign, which will run through November, according to the Cosmetic Dentistry Guide. This should serve as an important reminder that one of the many reasons to visit the dentist regularly is so he or she can spot the early signs of oral cancer, allowing individuals to seek treatment as soon as possible.
According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, an estimated 40,000 individuals in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. The disease kills roughly one person every hour, and out of those 40,000, only slightly more than half will be alive five years after their diagnoses. This is because many individuals do not notice the signs of this condition early enough and the cancer is caught too late.
The signs of oral cancer include lumps, bumps or rough spots inside the mouth, soreness in the throat and difficulty swallowing, ear pain and dramatic weight loss. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should visit the doctor or dentist immediately. A dentist can spot the symptoms of oral cancer, which is why it's important to visit a dental health professional twice a year.
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