What is Oral Cancer?
It is a cancerous growth that occurs in the mouth. Like other types of cancer, it features the uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells. These cells damage the surrounding areas of healthy tissues, compromising the health of a patient. Oral cancer can affect any part of the mouth, including the cheeks, tongue, lips, floor, or the mouth, throat, gums, to mention a few.
How Can You Identify Oral Cancer?
The mouth cancer symptoms are the best way to tell if you have the cell abnormality. The initial stages of mouth cancer begin with mouth sores that refuse to go away. Your challenge will be to tell apart a common canker sore from a cancer sore. It is why you need to consider oral cancer screening by a dentist near you. Some of the common oral cancer symptoms include:
- Irregular swelling in any area inside your mouth – the swellings manifest as rough spots, tumors, lumps, bumps, or eroded areas. This unevenness of the skin of your mouth can indicate cancer. Watch out for the irregular swellings in your lips, cheeks, and gums.
- Patches in the mouth – the patches are usually reddish or whitish. They can better be described as velvety. The patches are usually recurrent and hard to disappear. The patches often show up on the gum tissue in your cheeks. However, monitor your tongue for the same. The different tongue cancer stages will present the patches differently in your tongue and gums.
- Bleeding – if the bleeding in your mouth cannot be explained, it could be a sign of cancer.
- Random numbness, pain, and tenderness – different parts of your faces may start to feel awkward in the presence of oral cancer. Numbness in some areas and pain in other areas is likely to occur. Check for this sign in your face area, more so the neck, cheeks, and mouth.
- Sore throat – if you talk to a park ridge dentist, the soreness of the throat because of cancer is different from other throat issues. The feeling you get is like that if something getting caught in your throat. This could quickly escalate to other signs, including hoarseness of your voice, change in voice, difficulties swallowing food, to mention a few.
- Ear pain – while it is not common, it is a possible symptom. The ears are so close to the mouth. This me as that when parts of your mouth are affected, your ears are very likely to experience some pain.
- Weight loss – is usually dramatic and unexplainable.
Who Can Get Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer does not select who to attack. The abnormal cells can multiply in any human being at any stage of their life. However, there are risk factors that increase the possibility of getting oral cancer, including the following:
- Age – older above the age of 50 are at a higher risk of getting oral cancer.
- Gender – men are twice as likely to get oral cancer than are women.
- Tobacco usage – smoking and sniffing tobacco heighten the risk of mouth cancer, as well as lung and throat cancers.
- Smoking – this goes for cigars, cigarettes, and marijuana usage. Smokers are 6 times more likely to get mouth cancer than nonsmokers are.
- Alcohol consumption – people who take alcohol are equally at risk of oral cancer as smokers.
- Sun exposure – excessive exposure to sunlight can cause oral cancer, more so of the lips. This exposure, especially at a young age, sabotages the skin.
- Family background and history – of people in your family have been diagnosed with oral cancer before, then you too can get it.
Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Important?
Cancer is a fatal disease. However, the early detection of oral cancer can save your life. Cancer cells spread very fast into other parts of your body. The longer you have it without knowing, the more damage your body sufferers. You can get through radiotherapy and chemotherapy as soon as possible to remove cancer before it spreads.