Patients should ask their dentists to check for lumps, sores, discolored tissue and other signs of oral cancer every six months, the Academy of General Dentistry says. "Treatment for advanced stage oral cancer may lead to chronic pain, loss of function, permanent facial and oral disfigurement following surgery," said AGD spokesman Dr. Seung-Hee Rhee. "The earlier the cancer is detected and treated, the better the outcome."

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