Oral cancer usually develops in the mouth’s or throat’s tissues and can also be found on the tonsils, gums, tongue as well as other apportionment of your mouth. Men are more exposed to this disease compared to women, however, there are ways of minimizing your risks. Oral cancer’s death rate has gone up in the last 30 years which has created a lot of challenges for health care practitioners. Like every other cancer, early oral cancer screening Houston and prompt treatment can go a long way in boosting your likelihood of survival.
Signs of Oral Cancer
There are various signs of oral cancer and they vary from one individual to another. Widespread symptoms include persistent mouth pain, sores, just to mention a few. You can also notice some red or white patches on your tonsils, gums or mouth lining. Other signs that may be experienced include lump in the cheek, swelling in the neck, chewing or swallowing difficulty, jaw or tongue moving problem, persistent bad breath, weight loss, among others (oral cancer screening Houston ).
What Puts You At Risk for Oral Cancer?
Researchers have not been able to come out point blank on the causes of oral cancer. However, a lot of scientists are generally of the opinion that cancers begin when there are alterations or damage to the genetic code controling the growth and death of cells. There are some risk factors that can make you to be more exposed to contracting the disease and some of them are discussed below (oral cancer screening Houston ).
Use of Tobacco
You will be more exposed to oral cancer if you smoke cigarette, pipes, cigar, chew tobacco or use smokeless tobacco. If you want to avoid increasing your risk, you should avoid smoking and if you are having any problem in achieving this, you can speak with your doctor for assistance (oral cancer screening Houston ).
Consumption of Large Amount of Alcohol
If you drink alcohol heavily, you will be exposing yourself to high risk of contracting oral cancer. If you combine tobacco use with your overconsumption of alcohol, your rate of exposure will be increased.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Cancers connected to HPV are usually located in your tonsils, at the base of your tongue or back of your throat. Even though the general cases of cancer of the mouth are going down, cases connected to HPV are going up.
Exposure To Sun
If excess sunlight is allowed on your lips, you may be more at risk of having cancer of the mouth. In order to prevent this from happening, you can apply a lip balm on your lips or use a cream that contains SPF.
Other Risk Factors
If you are older than 45, there is every tendency that you will be more exposed to the disease. In addition, if you are exposed to radiation or have other type of neck or head cancer, you can contract oral cancer (oral cancer screening Houston ).
Minimizing Your Risks
Oral cancers are easily preventable if you are ready to take the right steps. Avoiding smoking is very important. And if you are already using tobacco, you can stop. So that you will be on a safer side. In addition, you should restrict your exposure to the harmful rays of the sun by using SPF lip balm. Eating of balanced diet is also very vital for your overall health. And you will be protecting yourself from cancer of the mouth if you do this.
Moreover, your alcohol consumption should be moderate. And you should endeavor to maintain your oral health properly. If you are using dentures, you must ensure that you clean them daily and remove them at night. While it may not be possible to totally prevent cancer of the mouth. Taking vital steps will go a long way in boosting your chances of getting help. It is very important for you to visit your Houston dentist regularly. So that regular oral cancer screenings can be carried out on you.
How Oral Cancer Is Treated
There are various treatment options available and the choice your doctor will go for depends on the location, type as well as stage of the cancer when it is diagnosed.
At the early stage of the condition, surgery may be imminent in order to get rid of tumor as well as cancerous lymph nodes. Additionally, there may be a need to get rid of other tissue around the neck and mouth.
Radiation therapy is also an effective option in combating this scourge. The procedure involves the introduction of radiation beams on the tumor at least two times a day for about five days weekly for about six weeks. If the situation has reached an advanced stage, this therapy can be combined with chemotherapy in order to get the best result.
Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to get rid of cancer cells. Your doctor will administer the drugs either with the aid of intravenous (IV) line or orally. Chemotherapy can be administered on an outpatient basis. While some cases may require hospitalization.
Targeted therapy can be used for both early as well as advanced stages of the condition. Drugs used for this procedure will fuse with certain proteins of the cancer cells. So that their growth will be disrupted.
As mentioned above, nutrition is very vital in treating cancer of the mouth. It is very important for you to discuss diet with your doctor. Because a lot of treatments may not make it easier for you to eat. Which can lead to loss of appetite and weight. As a result of this, you should speak with a nutritionist. So that you will be properly advised on the best menu plan that will have a mild nature on your mouth as well as throat. And provide the right nutrients for your body.
Keeping your mouth healthy before your oral cancer screening Houston and when your cancer treatment is going on is very vital for the success of the process. You must ensure that your mouth is kept moist. While your teeth as well as gums must be kept clean.