April is National Oral, Head and Neck Awareness Month. Oral cancers are part of a group of cancers commonly referred to as head and neck cancers. Often, these types of cancers are discovered late in their development and have a low survival rate. Raising awareness through screenings provides an opportunity for early detection and treatment options.
What was once thought of as only a smoker’s disease, oral cancer is now prevalent among young, healthy non-smokers due to its connection with Human Papillomavirus (HPV). HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that infects the cells of skin and mucous. Orally, this includes the mouth, throat, tongue and tonsils.
Tobacco, used in all forms, is still the biggest risk factor for most people for contracting oral cancer. When combined with alcohol, the risk increases significantly as the two interact and increase each other’s harmful effects.
It is likely that aggressive cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation or surgery will be recommended after a definitive diagnosis. While these methods attack the cancer, many patients experience pain, infection and bleeding after treatment. Damaged muscles and joints in the jaw and neck can also be a negative side effect of radiation therapy.
Milkweed Balm, a blend of natural oils, eases the pain and discomfort associated with nerve pain and can be applied directly to the muscles and joints of the jaw and neck after treatment. An alternative therapy to traditional pain medication, Milkweed Balm can help oral cancer patients soothe targeted areas and experience much-needed relief.
Know the risks and get yourself checked out for early detection. If you are at risk, a simple test during your dentist appointment could save your life. The sooner ANY cancer is caught, the less invasive the treatments.