What is oral cancer?
Cancer is an uncontrollable growth of cells that attack and lead to damage of the surrounding tissue. Oral cancer is seen as a growth or inflammation in the mouth. Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, the floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses and pharynx (throat). It can lead to death if not noticed and treated early.
The most common symptoms of oral cancer are:
1. Inflammations/thickening lumps or bumps, irregular spots/crusts/or eroded areas of the lips, gums, or other parts situated inside the mouth.
2. The development of velvety white red or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth.
3. Bleeding in the mouth without knowing the cause
4. Numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth or neck.
5. Consistent inflammation on the face, neck, or mouth which bleeds easily and does not heal within fourteen days.
6. Inflammation or feeling that something is caught deep down your throat.
7. When you’re having difficulty in chewing or swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue.
8. Hoarseness, severe sore throat, or change in the voice
9. Pain in the ear.
10. A change in your dentition.
11. Sudden loss of weight.
Why do you need to screen?
When you go in for your next routine checkup, you may go for an oral screening to see if you’re developing or about to develop oral cancer. Oral cancer screenings are tailored to catch the early symptoms of oral cancer before they proceed to a more delicate stage. Oral cancer screening is necessary because when caught early, oral cancer can be successfully treated.
According to recent studies, approximately eighty-four percent of oral cancer cases can be diagnosed early by a dental health professional. When a denturist performs oral cancer screening, they make use of a lot of tools to search for any form of discoloration or mouth inflammation in your mouth. After which they feel the tissues around your mouth to check for lumps or abnormalities. When they detect any form of abnormality in your mouth, they will, therefore, send a sample to a lab for further testing. A biopsy may be required to find the makeup of the suspicious looking area. There are different kinds of biopsies and only your doctor can determine which one is better
A lot of doctors avoid brush biopsies because even though they’re very simple, they still require running scalpel biopsy to authenticate if the results of the brush biopsy are positive. However, scalpel biopsies are of different types; incisional and excisional depending on whether only a place or the whole area is needed to determine what exactly is the nature of the problem. Moreover, some doctors perform the biopsies with lasers.
Although it has been proven that people who have oral cancer usually had one of the risk factors, there’s also a growing number of people who have been diagnosed with oral cancer but never had any risk factors. Oral cancer screenings are important in maintaining your overall health as cancer may be prevented by regular screening during check-ups.
Oral Cancer Risk Factors
• Smoking: cigarette, cigar or pipe smokers are six times more susceptible to oral cancers than their counterparts who are none smokers.
• Smokeless tobacco users: people who use dip snuff, or chewing tobacco productions are fifty times more susceptible to cancers of the cheek, gums, and lining of the lips.
• Excessive alcohol intake: oral cancers are about six times more common in drinkers than in non-drinkers.
• Family that has cancer in their history
• Severe sun exposure especially at a tender age.
• Human papillomavirus (HPV): Some HPV strains are etiologic risk factors for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
According to study twenty-five percent of oral cancer occur in patients who do not smoke and who only drink alcohol often.
Early detection is the best way to defeat cancer. Give Woodside Denture a call for your Free Consultation where we can discuss Oral Cancer detection in detail with you.