Oral Cancer: The Silent Killer: Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer is a disease that affects the tissues of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, and cheeks. It is the 15th most common cancer worldwide and the 8th most common cancer in men.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

The most common symptom of oral cancer is a painless lump or sore in the mouth that does not go away. Other symptoms may include:

  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Numbness or tingling in the mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • Persistent hoarseness

What are the risk factors for oral cancer?

The most common risk factors for oral cancer are:

  • Tobacco use: Smoking and chewing tobacco are the leading causes of oral cancer.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption: Alcohol increases the risk of oral cancer, especially when combined with tobacco use.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV): HPV is a sexually transmitted infection that can increase the risk of oral cancer.
  • Poor oral hygiene: Poor oral hygiene can lead to inflammation and irritation of the tissues in the mouth, which can increase the risk of oral cancer.
  • Exposure to ultraviolet radiation: Exposure to ultraviolet radiation, such as from the sun or tanning beds, can increase the risk of oral cancer.
  • Certain genetic conditions: Certain genetic conditions, such as xeroderma pigmentosum, can increase the risk of oral cancer.

How is oral cancer diagnosed?

The diagnosis of oral cancer is usually made by a dentist or doctor who performs a physical examination of the mouth. The doctor may also order other tests, such as a biopsy, to confirm the diagnosis.

How is oral cancer treated?

The treatment for oral cancer depends on the stage of the cancer and the patient’s overall health. Treatment options may include:

  • Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for oral cancer. The surgeon removes the cancerous tissue and some of the surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. It may be used before or after surgery, or as the only treatment for some patients.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be used before or after surgery, or as the only treatment for some patients.

How can I prevent oral cancer?

The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid the risk factors. If you smoke or drink alcohol, quitting is the best thing you can do to reduce your risk. You should also get regular dental checkups and oral cancer screenings.

What are the chances of survival for oral cancer?

The chances of survival for oral cancer depend on the stage of the cancer and the patient’s overall health. The five-year survival rate for oral cancer is 65%. However, the survival rate is much higher for early-stage cancer.

What are some other things I can do to improve my oral health?

Here are some other things you can do to improve your oral health:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.
  • Flossing once a day.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste.
  • See your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
  • Avoid sugary foods and drinks.
  • Quit smoking.

By taking care of your oral health, you can help prevent oral cancer and keep your teeth and gums healthy for a lifetime. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you with your dental needs. https://calendly.com/sbenatidentistry/interview

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