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Research has indicated that 1 out of every 92 adults will develop some form of oral or pharyngeal cancer at some point in their life. Even though the average age of diagnosis is 62 years old, risk factors such as a family history of oral cancer, tobacco use, and alcohol abuse increase your chances of developing oral cancer at a younger age. Typically men are almost twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women.

Common early symptoms of oral cancer often include a persistent pain in your mouth, which might also be associated with swelling or a lump in your cheek or gums. Red or white areas on your gums, tongue, and tonsils are also warning signs that should not be ignored.

Pharyngeal cancer, sometimes referred to as throat cancer, can have symptoms that include a persistent sore throat or a feeling like there is a foreign object stuck at the back of your throat.

You should not take any of these symptoms lightly. Diagnosing oral or pharyngeal cancer early greatly increases your chances of a successful treatment.

Dr. Garth Collins includes a basic oral cancer screening at the end of each of your twice-annual dental checkup. To do this he examines your tongue, throat, face, and neck for signs of swelling or discoloration. Be sure to let Dr. Garth Collins know about any increased risk factors for oral cancer, such as a family history of oral cancer as well as regular alcohol or tobacco use.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of oral or pharyngeal cancer, you should not delay in calling Dr. Garth Collins at 916.985.2550 to schedule an appointment.