Oral cancer, sometimes referred to as mouth or oral cavity cancer is any cancerous growth that has developed in the mouth or throat tissues. These are part of a group of cancers known as head and neck cancers.
4 Major Types of Oral Cancer:
- Adenocarcinoma: This is a type of cancer found in the salivary gland.
- Sarcoma: This grows from abnormalities in bone, muscles, and tissues.
- Lymphoma: This type usually grows from cells found in lymph nodes found in the mouth
- Oral malignant melanoma: These are dark-colored, swollen spots that bleed often.
As bad as all these may sound, the good news is that these cancers are still relatively treatable in their later stages.
Oral cancer survival rates have improved dramatically in recent years, compared to merely a decade ago. Some pharyngeal malignancies have been shown to have 3 year survival rates of 80 to 90%.
Important Facts about Oral cancer
Here are a few more things to keep in mind about oral cavity cancer:
- Men are significantly more likely than women to be diagnosed with these cancers.
- The incidence of patients under the age of 50 has been on a steady rise, and these cancers can sometimes affect younger people in their 20s and 30s.
- First-time cancer survivors are more likely to develop a second, related cancer. It’s possible that the higher risk will remain for 5 to 10 years.
- Oral cancers can only be diagnosed with a biopsy.
Common Symptoms of Oral Cancer
- Painful and persistent mouth ulcers
- Sudden toothache and unexpected tooth loss
- Strange sensations around the tongue and gum
- Sudden development of a lisp or a change in speech and speed abilities
- A strange lining around the lips or tongue
- Unexpected and sudden weight loss
- The sudden growth of lumps around the mouth or neck that don’t won’t to go away
Cause of Oral cancer
- Family history
- Poor oral hygiene habits
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Excessive exposure to sunlight
- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
- Exposure to harmful chemicals such as asbestos, nickel, and sulfuric acid
Tips to Avoid Oral Cancer
Many oral cavity cancers can be entirely prevented with proper self-care and a healthy lifestyle.
Here are five ways for preventing oral cancer:
- Stay away from tobacco: Oral cancers are more likely to develop the longer you use tobacco and the more often you use it. Smokeless, snuff tobaccos, and chewing tobacco are all directly placed in the mouth and can produce gray-white sores called leukoplakia in the mouth that can turn malignant. Smokeless tobacco also contains compounds that have been linked to the damage of a cancer-prevention gene.
- Consume alcohol moderately: Alcohol, like smoking, increases your risk the longer you use it and the more you drink. This is because alcohol alters the body’s chemistry and weakens its anti-cancer defenses. According to the National Institutes of Health, people who consume more than three and a half alcoholic drinks each day increase their risk of oral cavity cancer by 2 to 3 times.
- Visit your dentist regularly: Dentists and dental hygienists are frequently the first to identify cancer growths. Ensure to have a dental check-up every 6 Brush and floss twice a day to keep your mouth and teeth healthy.
- Obtain an HPV vaccination: Oral cancers, particularly those in the back of the mouth, are closely linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV), especially HPV16. Getting vaccinated before becoming sexually active is the greatest way to avoid HPV. Vaccines that are now accessible to protect from different strains of HPV. They are recommended for people between the ages of 11 to 26. There is hope that as people are vaccinated, the number of oral cancer cases will decrease over time.
- Protect your lips from the rays of the sun: Lip cancer is linked to UV radiation from sunshine, and those who work outside and are exposed to the sun for lengthy periods are more prone to develop it. In addition to avoiding the sun between 10 am and 2 pm, use a lip balm with a high SPF when you go out, and reapply it after eating and drinking. Also, protect your face from the sun by wearing hats.
Dental Group of Simi Valley for Your Dental Needs
If you have any concerns about the above-listed symptoms, schedule an appointment with the Dental Group of Simi Valley, Simi Valley, CA for a checkup. If it’s cancer, the sooner it is diagnosed, the higher the chances of a successful treatment. We are eager to help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile!