Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer and How to Treat It

Cancer happens to be a disease that is capable of changing anyone’s life and much to our dismay a considerable portion of the population suffer from this condition. But at the same time this can also be said that over half of those with this condition survive after five years if the condition is detected at an early stage.

Cancer is defined as the uncontrollable growth of cells that attack and cause damage to the surrounding area. Oral cancer happens to the growth of sore in the mouth that does not go away.  Oral cancer includes cancer of the tongue, lips, floor of the mouth, cheeks, sinuses, hard or soft palates that can turn out to be life-threatening if not detected at the right time.

Who Can Get Oral Cancer?

Research has revealed that men are more prone to oral cancer and have almost double the chances of getting this disease as compared to women.  Men who are above age of 50 face the greatest threat in this case. So here are some of the risk factors of developing oral cancer. Just read on.

  • Excessive Consumption of Alcohol – Oral cancers are over five times more common in drinkers than that of non-drinkers.
  • Smoking – People using cigars, cigarettes, or pipe smokers are much more likely (about six times more) than the non-smokers to get oral cancer.
  • Family History of Cancer – Those having any family history of oral cancer bear a higher chance of getting this disease.
  • Users of Smokeless Tobacco – Users of chewing tobacco products, snuff and dip are fifty times more likely to develop cancers of the gums, cheeks and linings of the lips.
  • Excessive Sun Exposure – Excessive exposure to the sun especially at a young age can lead to oral cancer.
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – There are certain HPV strains happen to be etiologic threats for Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC).

You should also take into account the fact that over 24 percent of all the oral cancers happen in people who drink alcohol occasionally and do not smoke at all.

During regular appointments, dentists look for early signs of cancer. But it is also important for you to recognise these warning signals so that if you notice any of these you can tell the dentist right away, especially if any of these symptoms persist for more than a couple of weeks.

doctor checking teeth of students in a school

What are the symptoms of Oral Cancer?

Since early detection is of crucial significance, you should know the symptoms of oral cancer. Here some of them are enlisted. Just read on.

  • The development of velvety speckled (white and red), white, red patches in the mouth
  • Thickenings or swellings, bumps or lumps, rough spots, or crusts or eroded areas on the lips, gums or other areas of the mouth
  • Unexpected Mouth Bleeding
  • Loss of feelings, unexplained numbness, tenderness in the area of the mouth, face or neck.
  • Difficulty in swallowing, speaking or moving the tongue or the jaw
  • Ear Pain
  • Hoarseness, change in the voice or chronic sore throat
  • Constant sores in the in the neck, face or mouth that bleed and do not heal upto 2 weeks
  • A soreness or a sensation that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • Dramatic loss of weight
  • A change in the way teeth or dentures fit together
  • Loose teeth with no dental cause apparently

If you notice any of these then you should contact your dentist immediately.

Oral Cancer Treatment

Oral cancer exams by the dentist are painless, quick and crucial to detecting in the early stages. During a routine check-up your dentist also visually checks your lips and cheeks for the signs. She may even check the jaw and neck area and also examine the top and underside of the tongue. These oral cancer screenings should be conducted every six months.

If a dentist suspects cancer he will recommend a biopsy of the area.  Surgery may be needed to treat the area if detected with a positive analysis and often this surgery is followed by radiation and chemotherapy.

How to Diminish Oral Cancer

For people with all stages of oral and pharynx cancers the overall rate for 1 year survival is around 80 percent. On the other hand, the rate of surviving for five and ten years are approximately around 55 and 40 percent respectively.

You should seek prevention when in doubt. You should practice daily oral hygiene for preventing gum disease and tooth decay. This may include brushing twice with fluoride toothpaste every day, flossing regularly and limiting the consumption of sweets.  By regulating certain lifestyle choices – you can reduce the risk of oral cancer.

Lastly, it can be said is that if you see your dentist regularly in a reputed dental clinic in Delhi and know what to look for, then the signs of oral cancer can be detected before it turns into a serious problem and is too late. For this reason it is recommended that you should take care of your oral health and never miss your dental appointments.

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