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With April around the corner, are you ready for oral and throat cancer awareness? April is designated oral cancer awareness month, a time where the American dental community creates public awareness for this potentially fatal disease. The dental community finds themselves in a unique position to help patients spot the signs early on. And awareness is increasingly vital today, because the cure rates for this type of cancer are typically low, as it is killing 8,000 people every year.

Like many cancers, the survival rate for oral cancer greatly hinges on early detection and treatment, so our goal is to diagnose oral cancer in the early stages. At Lehmkuhler Dental, we are proud to offer oral screenings at all your dental checkups, not just during April awareness month.

During your screening, we will be looking for these symptoms:

  • Do you have persistent irritation or sores in your mouth?
  • Do you have unusual red or white patches in your mouth?
  • Are you experiencing tenderness or numbness in your mouth or on your lips?
  • Do you have a lump, rough spot, or crust in your mouth?
  • Do you have trouble when you are chewing, swallowing, or speaking?

Historically, most people who developed oral cancer were those who were adults who smoked or used tobacco regularly, or had high rates of alcohol consumption. Now it is the youth who are most at risk, as oral and pharyngeal cancer is rising in the younger generation because of HPV (the human papillomavirus). In fact, HPV has become the leading cause of oral cancer today.

As part of our ongoing quest to inform our patients about the dangers of oral cancer, our goal is to help you have a long and healthy life with regular oral cancer screenings. To schedule a visit with one our caring dentist, Dr. Ryan P. Lehmkuhler, please call our dental team in Dodge City, Kansas at 620-225-5154 today. The smile you save may be your own!