Oral cancer is seen in mouth and throat region, it appears as some growth or soreness in mouth which does not go away.
Includes the cancer of tongue, lips, inner lining of cheeks, gums, sinuses (hollow spaces in skull), floor of mouth, palate, and throat, it can be extremely life threatening if not diagnosed properly and treated early.
Your dentist is usually the first person to notice the signs of an oral cancer.
Consumption of tobacco in any form is one of the biggest risk factors for cancer some of the other risk factors includes excessive alcohol use, HPV infection (human papilloma virus), family history of cancer, frequent sun exposure, previous diagnosis of any other cancer, weak immune system, poor nutrition and diet.
Some of its most common symptoms include lumps / bumps, swelling, thickening, crusts, rough spots, soreness and eroded areas that don’t heal; bleeding from mouth, loose teeth, white or red patches in mouth, unexplained numbness, loss of sensation, pain, difficulty to chew and swallow, hoarseness of voice, sore throat, earache, stiffness in jaws, dramatic weight loss, uncomfortable dentures.
For obtaining a proper diagnosis your dentist or any healthcare professional will take a detailed dental and physical exam including brush biopsy or tissue biopsy for any suspicious lesion or growth.
In addition, they will perform one or more of these tests like x-rays, CT scan, endoscopy, MRI scan, PET scan.
Treatment procedure is usually same as for other type of cancers like surgery to remove the lesion, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy to remove and destroy the cancer cells.
To prevent getting any form of oral cancer avoid tobacco use like smoking, minimize alcohol consumption, have a well balanced and healthy diet, limit exposure to sun, remember to use sunscreen and maintain your regular visits to the dental office.