Oral Cancer is any cancerous tissue growth located inside the mouth. People who are more than forty-five years of age are prone to this type of cancer. As reported annually in the United States, 40,000 new cases of oral cancer consist of men, taking a large majority over women of the same age. Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the world. The early stage of this disease can be found in the tongue, the floor of the mouth, soft palate tissues in back of the tongue, lips, and gums. This type of cancer is malignant and tends to spread rapidly if not properly treated.
Early signs of Oral cancer can be manifested by red, white or discolored lesions, patches or lumps in or around the mouth. However, the early stage of oral cancer is painless. The exact cause of oral cancer is not yet identified by the experts. However, the carcinogens in tobacco products, alcohol and certain foods, as well as excessive exposure to the sun is believed to be among the reasons that trigger oral cancer; when tobacco and alcohol are combined, the risk of oral cancer increases 15 times more than for non-users of tobacco and alcohol products. It is strongly advised by the dentists to be wary of the habits that will trigger oral cancer; dental check ups and routine is also recommended. Your dentist may also recommend some tips to avoid smoking.
The following are signs and symptoms of oral cancer; if some of these happen; you need to see your dentist immediately:
- Any sore that persists longer than two weeks
- A swelling, growth or lump anywhere in or about the mouth or neck
- White or red patches in the mouth or on the lips
- Repeated bleeding from the mouth or throat; difficulty in swallowing or persistent hoarseness.
Oral cancer can be defeated by means of proper treatment given by our dentists and experts. If signs of oral cancer are detected during routine checkups; a patient may need to undergo a biopsy to verify the diagnosis. If signs of cancer are proven, early removal of tumor by means of surgery may be required; radiation therapy may also be needed as a part of treatment. After the treatment, a patient also needs to follow some rehabilitation given by the speech therapists in order to complete the stages of healing.
Oral cancer is dangerous and deadly. The rate of a successful treatment and rehabilitation from oral cancer only depends on its early detection. The best way to avoid this type of disease is to have a healthy lifestyle. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, and avoiding alcohol and cigarettes is a big factor in avoiding oral cancer. Always visit your dentist and live a happy and healthy life.