Oral cancer is not among the most common types of cancer. Still, it has been estimated that it affects around 35,000 people each year in the US alone. It will not be a mistake to say that knowing more about the condition can help for prevention and early diagnosis.
The condition is defined as the fast and uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the mouth, throat and the sinuses. As the cells continue to multiply a malignant tumor begins to grow. It can appear as a growth or a sore in any area of the mouth and throat. In general, oral cancer includes cancer of the lips, cheeks, tongue, floor of the mouth and the hard and soft palate as well as cancer of the throat and of the sinuses.
It is not known what causes oral cancer exactly. Despite this some risk factors have been identified. Aging is one of them. It has been estimated that people over the age of 50 are more likely to develop the condition.
Smoking is another serious risk factor. Unlike lung cancer, which is caused primarily by cigarette smoking, the risk of oral cancer increases with smoking cigarettes as well as cigars and pipes. In general, smokers are six times more likely to develop this oral disease than nonsmokers. Chewing tobacco is an extremely serious risk factor. It can increase your chances of malignant tumor development in the gums, cheeks and the lining of the lips by 50 times.
Alcohol consumption is another risk factor. You are six times more likely to get oral cancer, if you drink compared to a non-drinker. Family history of cancer also puts you at risk.
The most common oral cancer symptoms include swelling and thickenings, bumps, lumps and rough spots inside the mouth, on the gums and on the lips. White and red patches may also appear on the tissue. Bleeding in the mouth and soreness in the throat are other common symptoms. Numbness in the mouth and neck, difficulty chewing and swallowing and sores on the face are also warning signs.
The diagnosis is often made by a dentist, after performing a brush biopsy and, if necessary, scalpel biopsy. The oral cancer treatment is standard. It involves surgery for the removal of the tumor and any surrounding tissues that can be affected. The treatment is continued with chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Oral cancer prevention includes regular self-exams of the mouth, regular visits to the dentist’s office, nonsmoking and having a balanced diet.
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Source : http://www.getwhatever.com/cancer-prevention-109/what-you-need-to-know-about-oral-cancer/