Oral cancer is cancer that is considered anywhere in the throat or mouth itself. Most cases of oral cancer that form begin in the floor of the mouth as well as on the tongue itself. Although it is possible for any individual to get oral cancer, there are various risk factors that contribute to oral cancer forming at any age regardless of gender and ethnicity.
Signs and Symptoms
If you notice an array of white and red patches throughout your mouth that are not normally there or have just recently appeared it is important to seek an opinion from your local family doctor or dentist. If you have persistent bleeding in your mouth and sores that will not heal, these can also be signs of developing oral cancer. When you have a lump in your neck, trouble swallowing and frequent ear pain along with loose teeth and pain throughout the mouth it is essential to seek medical care to follow up with the proper tests to determine if you have oral cancer. Additionally, pain when eating, swallowing and trouble chewing as normal can all be contributing factors to oral cancer.
Being a male over the age of 40 is a major risk factor of getting oral cancer, although oral cancer is possible in both genders. If you smoke and use tobacco and alcohol regularly you are more at risk of developing a case of oral cancer regardless of age. If you or someone in your family has had a history of neck or head cancer in the past, it is important to eliminate additional risk factors from your own life to eliminate the risk of developing the cancer yourself. Spending too much time in the sun and getting an excess of exposure on your lips is another risk factor in getting oral cancer.
Preventing Oral Cancer
Eliminating risk factors can help to reduce your chances of getting oral cancer in your lifetime. If you currently smoke or drink alcohol, cut down or eliminate your intake altogether. Compare your family history to determine if you are at a greater risk of oral cancer based on genetics. Although it is not possible to ensure you have eliminated the risk of oral cancer altogether, making healthier lifestyle choices can greatly reduce your chances of developing cancer anywhere throughout the body. Exercising and eliminating processed foods and foods with chemicals can help to decrease your risk of developing oral cancer regardless of your gender or age.
Treating Oral Cancer
A combination of treatments may differ for each patient, depending on their preference as well as the progress of the cancer and how rapidly it is spreading in the body. Meeting with your general care physician as well as an oncologist is the first step for testing your blood and getting a checkup for any abnormalities you have noticed in your mouth or throat.
Having an understanding of oral cancer and how it can affect you is a way to stay informed enough to eliminate any potential risk factors in your own life. The more you know about signs, symptoms and risk factors of oral cancer, the easier it is to make positive changes in your life to help with preventing the cancer from developing in your own body.
The dentists at TLC Dentistry in Salinas are experienced in every area of dentistry, including identifying any cancer causing issues. If you or someone you know needs assistance, call today: (831) 757-1038