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April is Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month

Oral Cancer Prevention and Detection Basics

Oral Cancer Prevention and Detection Basics

Annually in the U.S., more than 8,650 people die from oral and pharyngeal cancers, while nearly 46,000 patients are diagnosed with them. Most major risk factors for these types of cancers are under your control, meaning that a few smart lifestyle choices go a long way toward preventing them. Early detection and immediate intervention can make a big difference in treatment success.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors

  • Use of inhaled or chew tobacco products
  • Having a daily average of 3 or more alcoholic drinks
  • Being infected by HPV (human papilloma virus)
  • Excessive unprotected lip exposure to UV radiation in sunlight or tanning aids

How to Lower Your Risk of Oral Cancer

  • Quit smoking—or never start
  • Don’t chew tobacco products
  • Drink little to no alcohol
  • Get vaccinated against HPV
  • Limit your lips’ sun exposure by staying out of direct sunlight, wearing sun-protective lip applications, or shading your face with a large-brimmed hat
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables

Encouraging Early Detection of Oral Cancer

  • Oral cancers have no standard screening tests
  • Go to regular dental and doctor appointments and ask for a checkup in and around your mouth for abnormalities that could be cancer or pre-cancerous
  • Have any concerning discoveries biopsied


Visit our directory for resources that can guide you in your search for treatment and care options, financial support and cancer survivor support.


NWFCCC works to reduce the burden of cancer on area residents by increasing access to cancer information and services, by developing and implementing cancer control projects for the public and healthcare professionals, and by promoting awareness of prevention and early detection practices.



You will receive one monthly email with information about cancer prevention, treatment, and survivorship. We will also include information on upcoming meetings and workshops.

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