Oral cancer or mouth cancer is the uncontrollable cell growth which invades and cause a lot of damage to all the surrounding tissue. This type of cancer generally looks like a growth or sore in the mouth of an individual which simply does not go away with any kind of generic medication. It also includes cancers of tongue, lips, sinuses, throat, inside the cheek, gums and also in the salivary glands. Oral cancer is a kind of head and neck cancer whose treatment is similar to other head and neck cancers.
In the earlier stages, there is no particular sign or symptom visible, but regular smokers and heavy drinkers should have constant check-ups with their dentists because they can be able to identify the early signs of oral cancer.
The symptoms and signs of oral cancer include-
- The growth of patches in the lining of mouth or tongue, that are generally white and red in color.
- Mouth sores or ulcers which do not heal easily.
- Swelling in the mouth that continues for more than three weeks.
- Lump or thickening of the inner skin and lining of the mouth.
- A painful sensation while swallowing.
- Loosening of teeth without any particular reason.
- Pain or stiffness in the jaw.
- A constantly sore throat.
- Pain in the tongue.
- The sensation of something being stuck in the throat.
- A hoarse voice.
- Painful neck and ear, where the pain simply does not go away.
Having some or any of these symptoms is not a sure guarantee that you have oral cancer, but it is worth getting checked from a reputed and professional doctor.
The following are considered to be some of the main causes of oral cancer-
People are constantly in the habit of smoking cigarettes, cigars or pipes run under a high risk of getting diagnosed with oral cancer, with chances that are six times more than the non- smokers.
Users of snuff, dip or chewing of tobacco products have a 50X chance of developing cancers of cheek, gums and the lining of lips.
Heavy drinkers and alcoholics are almost six times more prone to develop a form of oral cancer as compared to non-drinkers.
Genetics also has a pretty vital role in getting an individual getting oral cancer. If there has been a history of a family member being a patient of oral cancer, it is likely that the disease might have been passed down through genetics.
The treatment of oral cancer is in many lines, similar to the treatment of other cancers. A surgery is required for removal of the cancerous growth, which is then followed by radiation therapy or/and chemotherapy to get rid of any of the remaining cancer cells.
In order to take preventive measures, here are certain things that you can try to do-
- Do not smoke and refrain from consuming any tobacco products. Drink alcohol in moderation and try not to binge drink any time.
- Have a well-balanced diet with all necessary nutrients and vitamins.
- Have a limited exposure to the sun. Prolonged exposure in the sun brings an increase to the chances of cancer on the lips, more particularly the lower lip. When you go out in the sun, use a UV-A/B blocking protective sunscreen lotions on your skin and lips as well.
- You too can be proactive in getting an early detection of oral cancer, in case it occurs by taking the following steps-
- Have a Self Examination Once Every Month- With the use of bright light and mirror, have a look and feel of your lips and the front part of the gums. Tilt your head and feel the roof of your mouth. Pull out the tongue, and look at the floor of your mouth. Feel for any kind of lumps on both sides of your neck and even below the lower jaw. If in case you see any kind of a change, call your dentist as soon as possible.
- Keep Regular Appointments With Your Dentist- Despite you conducting regular checking, there might be a dangerous spot or sore which could be tiny and hence, difficult to find. This is why it is important to keep regular appointments with your dentist. If there is a detection of oral cancer early, there are increased chances of successful treatment.
About the Author: Lee Butler has a huge amount of knowledge and experience in taking care of pretty complicated cases of denture issues at Solutions Dental Clinic. He has made acclaimed contributions to the profession and is also known as one of the UK’s leading Dental Clinic Technicians as well.