When redness, irritation, bleeding, soreness, sensitivity to temperature changes and/or chewing is present to such a degree that it interferes with daily routine or persists for more than two weeks, the problem should be investigated by a dentist. Often the situation is easily treated. However, it is always to the person's advantage to investigate a dental problem before it becomes commonplace, and ignored. Remember, oral cancer is painless in its early stages and is most "treatable'' in its early stages. The older adult is in the most likely age for the presence of a lesion. The presence or absence of teeth is not related to the possibility of developing a cancerous lesion. The Surgeon General's Report states that oral and pharyngeal cancers are diagnosed in nearly 30,000 Americans annually, primarily the elderly. More than 8,000 die from this disease each year.