Many types of cancer have affected humanity since time immemorial. Some of these cancers are very rare and incurable, while others are survivable. One of the most common cancers today is oral cancer. Despite its commonness, oral cancer is somehow neglected or overlooked.
If you suspect that you have oral cancer, then you need to take action. In this article, you will learn about oral cancer and its primary mechanism.
Oral Cancer Defined
Oral cancer is just one of the types of cancers that anyone can get. This is part of the ‘head and neck’ cancer category, and it can be easily overlooked. Once oral cancer has metastasised, it’s difficult to stop it.
The symptoms of oral cancer are difficult to pinpoint because they resemble common pains. You might think that you have a lingering gum or teeth problem until the situation gets worse. Therefore, you need to be observant regarding any persistent pain. Of course, you shouldn’t just rely on your personal tests. You should take professional oral cancer exams for greater results.
Oral Cancer Causes
Many cancers are the direct result of genetics. However, researchers have observed that the HPV16 virus can increase your chances of getting oral cancer. This is also worsened by having poor dental habits. Oral cancer will usually manifest in your mouth’s posterior section, affecting the base of your tongue and the tonsils. It’s hard to see lesions and scarring in these areas, so you need a professional oral exam given by your dentist.
Take note of the underlying symptoms of oral cancer:
– The pain of the mouth and jaw
– Persistent mouth sores
– Growths, lumps, or thickening of the skin (painful or non-painful)
– Changes in the mouth lining
– Dentures no longer fitting or they feel awkward
– General stiffness with lingering discomfort
– Trouble chewing most types of food
– Noticeable primary tumours
– The appearance of secondary tumours
Knowing and understanding the symptoms of oral cancer early will improve your chance of winning against the disease. So, you need to be observant in the best way that you can. But you don’t have to panic after the diagnosis! Feel the pressure but find the courage to work against the disease.
What Are Oral Cancer Exams?
In most cases, guessing something is wrong – especially in the field of oncology. You can’t just guess if you have cancer or you don’t. By doing so, you will waste precious time and resources. If you want accurate results, the best way is to get an oral cancer examination. This is a comprehensive exam that will require you to remove your dentures and other dental appliances. Once these appliances are removed, the dentist can now run the check without hindrances. Every oral cancer exam will require an in-depth medical history check, as well as a direct assessment of dental health care.
Here are the common oral cancer questions that you may encounter:
– Has there been a noticeable change in your voice?
– Has swallowing become more difficult for you?
– Do you feel any obvious obstructions whenever you swallow?
– Are you experiencing or have you experienced moments of hoarseness?
– How frequent was the hoarseness episode or how long did it last for?
– Do you feel any noticeable lumps on the side of your neck? (painful or non-painful)
– Have you had any disconcerting earaches, especially on one side?
Your dentist will possibly add more detailed questions throughout the examination. Try to be honest in answering all of the questions!
Dealing With Oral Cancer
What should you do after getting diagnosed with oral cancer? It’s normal to be scared and anxious upon receiving such news. But bear in mind that oral cancer shouldn’t hinder your life – at least for the time being. Instead of sulking, you must work with your dentist to come up with possible solutions. You can choose invasive surgeries or radiotherapy.
Also, don’t forget to discuss your situation with your friends and family. They can help lighten the weight and keep you empowered through your difficulties.
It’s totally understandable to panic once you’ve heard that you have oral cancer. However, you need to be objective to win the fight. Don’t worry – Waterloo Emergency Dental Centre will support you all the way. Just ask the right questions about oral cancer, and we will guide you!
Here at Waterloo Emergency Dental Centre, we’re always ready to help. Contact us today if you want to schedule an oral hygiene appointment!