Oral cancer manifests itself as sore or growth in the mouth that refuses to go away on its own. Such can show up on various areas on or inside the oral cavity such as the lips, cheeks, tongue, base of the mouth, soft and had palates, throat and even sinuses.
Just like many other forms of cancer, it’s important to detect and treat oral cancer as early as possible. In its later stages, needless to say, dealing with it can prove to be extremely challenging.
Continue reading if you are interested to know more about oral cancer. Below you will come across some of the most important things about it. Make sure that you repost this afterwards so that your family and friends may also get acquainted with oral cancer.
Signs and Symptoms
The good news is it can be very easy for a doctor to identify oral cancer during its early stages because it tends to come with a number of signs and symptoms. Still it’s important for the individual to be aware of some changes in his or her body so that he or she may bring the matter right away to a doctor.
By the way, a dentist is someone who can also help identify the signs and symptoms of oral cancer. If they’re present, he or she will refer the individual to a specialist for further testing.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of oral cancer include:
Presence of white or red (sometimes white that’s speckled with red) patches inside the mouth
Sores, lumps, bumps, rough spots or eroded areas on the soft parts inside the mouth
Unexplained bleeding in the oral cavity or pain in the mouth and at times in various parts of the face and neck, too
Difficulty in speaking, eating or swallowing or moving the tongue or jaw
Change in voice, constant hoarseness or a sore throat that refuses to go away after some time
Unintended and significant weight loss
The American Cancer Society confirms that more than 40,000 people in the United States back in 2014 were diagnosed with oral cancer. They add that some people are at higher risk of suffering from oral cancer than the rest.
The following are some of the considered risk factors for oral cancer:
Being a male (males are twice at risk than women)
Cigarette smoking and the use of tobacco products
Excessive intake of alcohol
Too much exposure to the sun
Having human papilloma virus or HPV
A family history of oral cancer
Just because a person does not have these risk factors doesn’t mean that he or she is impervious to oral cancer. According to health authorities, about 25 percent of individuals who are diagnosed with oral cancer do not smoke or use tobacco products, and only drink alcohol once in a while.
Diagnosis and Treatment
To determine the presence of oral cancer, a doctor or dentist will carefully inspect the mouth of the patient to look for signs of anything unusual taking place. Aside from viewing the oral cavity, his or her fingers will be used to determine the presence of lumps, growths or irregular tissues in the mouth.
Having a biopsy may be done to determine whether a suspicious presence is cancerous or not.
Treating oral cancer is just like treating any other type of cancer. The cancerous growth is surgically removed. Commonly, such is followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to ensure that any remaining cancer cells are destroyed before they get the chance to infect other areas in the oral cavity.