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Practice offering free oral cancer screenings

In honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, Beautiful Dentistry will offer free oral cancer screening in Salisbury and Mocksville.

More than 49,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year in the U.S. It kills one person every hour of every day. If found early, survival rates are high and side effects from treatment are reduced.

Most oral cancer is blamed on tobacco and alcohol use. Another way to contract it is through the human papilloma virus, which is now the leading cause of oropharyngeal cancers in the U.S., the same virus which is responsible for most cervical cancers in women. More and more young non-smokers are developing oral cancer due to the virus.

Early signs of oral cancer include red or white discoloration of the soft tissue of the mouth; a sore that does not heal within 14 days or hoarseness which lasts for a prolonged period.

Signs of more advanced cancer include a feeling that something is stuck in your throat, numbness around the mouth, difficulty moving the jaw or tongue, difficulty swallowing, ear pain which occurs on one side only, a sore under a denture which does not heal, a lump or thickening which develops on the mouth or neck.

Screenings should be done each year. Dates for free screening are April 19 and 26 at the Salisbury office, 1401 W. Innes St.; and April 18 and 25 in Mocksville at 562 Valley Road. Call 704-633-2612 to schedule a screening.

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