Oral or mouth cancer could form in any area of the oral cavity; under or on the tongue, the cheeks, gums, roof of the mouth and even the lips. Cancer is defined as the growth of cells that damage the surrounding tissue and it can be life-threatening if not treated, so it is very important to have regular oral examinations at your dental clinic.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The symptoms of oral cancer include the following:
- A mouth or lip sore that does not heal
- A reddish patch inside the mouth
- Loose teeth
- A lump or growth on the inside of the mouth
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Dramatic weight loss
- Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or a change in the pitch of the voice
If you have any of the above symptoms, you should see a dentist Varsity Lakes has, for example. If you leave elsewhere, go to the dental clinic near you. It is vitally important to get yourself checked or make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
There are certain things that can increase the risk of contracting oral cancer, which include:
- The use of tobacco of any kind; cigarettes, cigars, rolling tobacco, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco and even snuff
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Excessive exposure of the lips to the sun
- A weakened immune system
All of the above can increase the chances of contracting oral cancer, so you should make sure that you do not engage in the consumption of tobacco in any form, plus limit the number of units of alcohol that you consume. If you would like some further reading on oral cancer, there are informative articles on the topic that you can find online.
Oral Cancer Prevention
There are no proven methods to prevent the onset of oral cancer, yet you can reduce the risk if you:
- Never smoke or use tobacco of any form
- Only drink alcohol in moderation, if at all
- Shade your face from the sun, as the lips can become cancerous due to excessive exposure to the sun
The other form of prevention is to have regular dental check-ups, at least twice a year, as this gives the dentist a chance to examine you orally, and should he or she discover symptoms, tests can be carried out in the form of a biopsy, which involves removing a tiny piece of tissue that can be tested in a laboratory.
Treatment of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can be treated in much the same way as cancer in other parts of the body, with surgery to remove the affected tissue, or chemotherapy treatment, which kills cancer cells.
Drugs can also be prescribed, depending on the stage of development of the cancerous growth, or a combination of treatments might be recommended.
Like all forms of cancer, the earlier it is discovered, the more chance there is of successful treatment being carried out, so if you feel any discomfort in your mouth, it is best to be safe than sorry and make an appointment with your dentist.
When you make an appointment for a dental check-up, your dentist will include checks for signs of oral cancer, which will ensure that in the event you contract oral cancer, swift treatment can be carried out.
Have you ever had to battle oral cancer? Which treatment worked best for you?
This post was published in partnership with Mediabuzzer.