Oral cancer is where a tumour grows in the salivary glands, tonsils and the pharynx or more commonly, on the surface of the tongue, mouth, lips or gums.
It is estimated that more than 40,000 people in U.S caught oral cancer in 2014. Men are studied to be twice at risk of developing mouth cancer as women, according to the American Cancer Society. Men over 50 are specified the have the greatest risk at developing the disease.
What causes Oral Cancer?
You may have oral cancer since something goes wrong with the typical cell lifestyle, leading to their uncontrollable growth and reproduction.
There are some risk factors of the disease growth, including smoking, tobacco products, excessive consumption of alcohol, family history of cancer, HPV (human papillomavirus). However, more than 25% of all mouth cancer cases have existed among those who occasionally drink alcohol and even do not smoke.
What are the signs presenting the disease?
Mouth cancer can show different signs, so if you find any abnormality in your mouth, it is better for you to contact your dentist. If mouth cancer can be early detected, the chances to cure will be higher. Your dentist can examine many parts of your mouth that you cannot see by yourself.
Some most common symptoms of the problem may include:
– White, red or speckled patches in your mouth.
– Teeth lost.
– Ear pain.
– Unexplained bleeding in the mouth or numbness, loss of feeling, or tenderness in any area of your face, mouth and even neck.
– Long-lasting sores on your face, neck, or mouth the easily bleed and do not heal within 2 weeks.
– Difficulty in chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue.
– A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together.
It is important to know that, when you find one of the above symptoms, it still does not mean that you catch the oral cancer.
During the dental exam, your dentist may carry out a mouth cancer screening exam. You may also be checked whether having any lump or abnormal tissue change in your neck, head, face and oral cavity. If the doctor finds any irregular tissue, he or she may perform an oral brush biopsy which causes painless and includes taking a small sample of the tissue to analyze. If your dentist detects it more suspicious, you may be recommended to take a scalpel biopsy.