Cancer is the uncontainable growth of cells invading and causing damage to neighbouring tissues. Oral cancer is usually growth or sore on the mouth that refuses to go away. It is life threatening, especially when not diagnosed and treated as early as possible and includes cancer of the tongue, lips, cheeks, sinuses, pharynx, hard and soft palate, among others (oral cancer screening near me).
What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
Some of the symptoms of oral cancer are lumps, swelling or rough spots on the gums, lips as well as other parts of the mouth. You may also notice the development of speckled, red or white patches around the mouth including unexplained bleeding around your mouth. Furthermore, unexplained numbness, tenderness, pain, loss of feeling may be felt around your face, neck or mouth. Persistent sores on your face, mouth or neck can be a sign of oral cancer.
Other symptoms of oral cancer may include difficulty in swallowing, chewing, moving the jaw, speaking or moving the tongue. Ear pain, severe sore throat, change in voice, dramatic weight loss, change in the way dentures or teeth fit together may be symptoms of oral cancer. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should not hesitate to see your doctor for an oral cancer screening near me.
Who Gets Oral Cancer?
Men are more exposed to oral cancer than women, according to American Cancer Society. And men over 50 years of age are more exposed to the risk of contacting oral cancer. Some of the risk factors of developing this condition include smoking cigarette, pipe or cigar. And those who take these stuffs are six times more exposed to the disease compared to non-smokers. In addition, if you make use of smokeless tobacco such as snuff, dip or chewing tobacco. You are 50 times more exposed to developing cancers of the gums, cheek and lips’ lining.
In addition, taking too much alcohol can expose you to contracting this disease six times more than nondrinkers. Excessive exposure to sunlight is another risk factor, especially when you are young. Research has shown that more than 25% of oral cancer cases occur in individuals who don’t smoke but drink alcohol occasionally (oral cancer screening near me).
What Is the Outlook for People With Oral Cancer?
The general one-year survival estimate for persons with all stages of pharynx cancer and oral cavity is 81%. The five-year survival rate is 56%. While ten-year survival rate is 41% (oral cancer screening near me).
How Is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?
It is very essential for you to attend your regular checkups. During these check up sessions, your dental professional will carry out an oral cancer screening near me in order to ascertain your status. Particularly, your dentist will check your oral cavity, face, head and neck for any sign of lumps or irregular tissue changes. During the examination process, your dentist will check your mouth for sores, discolored tissue as well as other symptoms pointed out above.
In addition, if an area has a suspicious look, a biopsy may be carried out to determine the structure of the suspect. There are various kinds of biopsies. And it is the sole responsibility of your doctor to determine the perfect one that will be used for you. A lot of doctors do not use brush biopsy. Because the result needs to be confirmed with scalpel biopsy even if the brush biopsy gives a positive result. In addition, there are various kinds of scalpel biopsies. Such as incisional and excisional biopsies. And they are chosen based on the objective of the dentist whether to investigate a part or whole area. In some circumstances, biopsies are carried out with lasers. So as to get the best result.
How Is Oral Cancer Treated?
Oral cancer can be fixed like every other cancer. A surgical procedure will be carried out to get rid of cancerous cells. And this will be superseded with radiation therapy or chemotherapy or both. So that the remaining cells will be destroyed.
What Can I Do to Prevent Oral Cancer?
If you want to prevent cancer, there are many things you can do. You should try as much as possible to avoid smoking or taking other tobacco related products. Your alcohol intake should be moderate and binge drinking should be avoided. The consumption of a balanced diet is very important. You should limit your exposure to the harmful rays of the sun. If you are excessively exposed to the sun, you will be more liable to cancer of the lips. Especially the lower one. If it is inevitable for you to enter the sun, you should make use of UVA and UVB blocking lotion in order to be properly protected.
Furthermore, you can carry out self examination at least once every month. With a bright light and mirror, you should feel and look at your lips as well as the front part of your gums. Your head should then be tilted backwards as you observe your mouth’s roof. You should also view the inner part of your mouth, cheek lining and back gums by pulling your cheeks out. Your tongue should be pulled out and properly examined. You should not forget the back of your throat and your neck as well as the interior of your lower jaw. If you discover any change during the course of your observation. You should not hesitate to see your dentist.
Regular visits to your dentist’s office is very important even if you are carrying out your regular self examination. At times, an ordinary eye may not see some changes in your mouth. With sophisticated equipment, it will be easy for your dentist to discover any hidden signs that may lead to fatal situations in future. The recommendation of American Cancer Society is that you should go for oral cancer screening near me once in three years if you are over 20 years of age. And every year if you are above 40. Early detection can go a long way in helping to boost the chances of treatment.