Oral cancer is a type of cancer that affects the mouth and throat. It may appear on the lips, gums, tongue, palate, or inner cheeks, among other parts of the oral cavity. For oral cancer to be detected and treated early, it is essential to comprehend the risks and symptoms of the disease.
At Waterloo Dental Centre in Waterloo, Canada, we are committed to educating our patients about dental health. We also encourage regular screenings to search for any early indicators of oral cancer. In this blog post, we’ll give you important details on oral cancer, such as its causes, risk factors, symptoms, and potential therapies.
The early stages of oral cancer might be difficult to detect even though they frequently cause little pain or discomfort. This highlights the importance of routine dental exams and self-inspections.
Effective oral cancer treatment depends on early detection. Thus, you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you notice any symptoms or changes in your mouth.
The likelihood of survival is influenced by the stage at which oral cancer is identified. The five-year survival rate for oral cancer varies from 90% for those with stage I illness to 39% for those with stage IV disease, according to the American Cancer Society.
What Promotes Oral Cancer Growth?
Like all cancers, oral cancer is sustained by abnormal cell proliferation. In the oral cavity, cancerous cells can form and progress to other body organs. Even though the exact cause of oral cancer is uncertain, there are a number of risk factors.
Risk factors for oral cancer include:
- Smoking and the use of smokeless tobacco are the two main tobacco products that increase the risk of oral cancer, along with alcohol usage. Also, consuming alcohol increases your chance of oral cancer, particularly if you also smoke.
- Mouth cancer has been linked to the sexually transmitted disease human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. The HPV strain that has been connected to oral cancer is HPV-16.
- Prolonged sun exposure increases the risk of developing lip cancer.
- Age and Gender: Oral cancer is more common in people over 50 and affects men twice as often as women.
- Unhealthy Diet: A diet high in processed foods and low in fruits and vegetables may raise the risk of oral cancer.
An Oral Tissue Cancer
Early detection is essential for effective oral cancer treatment. The following typical mouth cancer warning symptoms should be noted:
- Voice or speech changes
- Unhealing sores or blisters
- White, red, or splotchy areas on the tongue, gums, or mouth
- Chest discomfort felt while swallowing
- Numbness in the lips and/or mouth
- Jaw pain and swelling
- Missing teeth
- Issues with wearing dentures
If any of these symptoms or warning signs apply to you, schedule a visit with your dentist immediately once.
Treatment And Diagnostics Of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer must be found through a thorough examination of the mouth and throat, including biopsies of any suspicious tissue. The following treatments are options should oral cancer be discovered:
- Surgery may be required to remove the cancerous tissue and nearby lymph nodes.
- High-energy beams are used in radiation therapy to kill cancer cells.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells as its primary goal.
- Drugs are specifically chosen in targeted therapy to affect the proteins involved in the growth of cancer cells.
Preventing Oral Cancer
- Even though not all cases of the illness are preventable, there are things you may do to minimize your risk. These include:
- Quit Smoking: If you smoke, quitting can significantly reduce your risk of oral cancer.
- If you drink, cutting back on your intake can help reduce your risk of oral cancer.
- The risk of HPV infection can be decreased by using protection during sexual activity.
- By wearing protective clothing and applying sunscreen to your lips, you can reduce your risk of acquiring lip cancer.
- Keeping a Healthy Diet: A balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in processed foods will help reduce the incidence of mouth cancer.
To Schedule a Dental Examination Contact Our Waterloo Dental Office Today.
Waterloo Dental Centre recommends scheduling regular dental exams at least once every six months. Throughout your examination, our dentist will carefully inspect your mouth and throat to look for any signs of oral cancer.
In addition to routine dental exams, we suggest you to conduct self-examinations at home. This is done to check for any abnormalities, such as sores, tumors, or red or white patches, in your mouth and throat. Any modifications or anomalies should be reported as soon as possible to our office.
Oral cancer is a serious disorder that can attack anyone at any time, regardless of age or gender. You can lower your risk of acquiring oral cancer by adopting preventative measures and being aware of the risk factors and symptoms. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us today.
DISCLAIMER: The advice offered is intended to be informational only and generic in nature. It is in no way offering a definitive diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for your particular situation. Any advice offered is no substitute for proper evaluation and care by a qualified dentist.