Signs That You May Have Oral Cancer

Signs That You May Have Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is a condition that develops in the tissues of the mouth or the throat. It can also occur in the tonsils, gum, tongue, and other parts of the mouth.

It is estimated that over 51,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2019. Men are more susceptible to this condition although many ways are available to minimize the risks.

Over the last three decades, the fatalities from oral cancer have decreased. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment improve the chances of survival among patients as it is popular with this condition. If you are at risk of developing oral cancer should continue reading to learn more about the signs, symptoms, and causes of oral cancer.

What Are the Signs of Oral Cancer?

The signs of oral cancer can vary from one person to another just like with all other types of cancers. However, some of the most common signs include sores in the mouth or persistent pain that doesn’t go away. The signs of oral cancer may also appear as white or red patches on the gums, the lining of the mouth, and the tonsils. Other symptoms may include the following:

  • Swelling in the neck.
  • Difficulty when swallowing or chewing.
  • A lump on the cheek.
  • A sense that something is attached in the throat.
  • Difficulties moving the tongue or the jaw.
  • Weight loss and constant bad breath.

What Puts You at Risk for Oral Cancer?

The medical fraternity isn’t exactly certain about the causes of oral cancer. Scientists believe that the cancers begin after damages or mutations in the genetic codes that control cell growth and death happens. The factors mentioned below can increase the chances of developing oral cancer.

  • Consumers of heavy alcohol are more likely to be diagnosed with oral cancer. People that are using tobacco along with alcohol are at a higher risk of developing the condition.
  • Use of tobacco in any form including smoking cigarettes, pipes, cigars, using smokeless tobacco, or chewing tobacco are some of the most common signs of oral cancer.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) is causing cancers at the back of the throat, the base of the tongue and the tonsils. The overall number of cases of cancers from HPV have been rising despite a drop being seen in oral cancers over the types.
  • Exposure to the sun on the lips increases your risk of oral cancer which can be reduced by using a cream containing SPF.

Being older than 45 and being exposed to radiation or having any other type of cancers to the head or neck can also be considered as a risk factor.

How to Minimize The Risks of Oral Cancer?

Minimizing your risk of oral cancer is not difficult because it is one of the three types of cancers that are highly preventable. The best thing you can do to minimize your risks is never to consider smoking or quit smoking and any tobacco you are using immediately. The risks can also be minimized by limiting your exposure to sunlight, having a well-balanced diet with fruits and vegetables, removing your dentures every night and cleaning them every day, limiting alcohol consumption, and practicing good oral health habits. Visiting your dentist regularly for exams and checkups will help you to manage early detection of it which will be extremely beneficial.

What to Expect If Diagnosed with Oral Cancer

Your life will undergo a sea change when diagnosed with oral cancer. You are likely to be concerned about how the diagnosis will affect your physical and emotional health. However, you must also understand the steps after you find it because you need to regain control over your life after the initial diagnosis.

  • Try to find the details about your diagnosis by learning about the precise type of cancer you have including the stage and any information that may affect the treatment and outcome.
  • Obtain information about the treatment options.
  • Ask for help from family members and friends.
  • Consider taking a second opinion.
  • Do your research.

If you are at risk of developing oral cancer should be visiting your dentist regularly for checkups and exams. If a biopsy needs to be conducted you must undergo the procedure with a dental clinic such as Nova Dental Anesthesia where the discomfort from the biopsy will be reduced because of the anesthetic injected into your mouth. However, you should never ignore any signs of oral cancer because the earlier it is detected and treated the better the outcome will be.

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