Symptoms of oral cancer you shouldn't ignore
Mouth cancer should be treated like any other cancer of the body. However, if this condition is caught early enough, the chances of successful treatment are high. Mouth cancer is one of several types of cancers grouped in a category called head and neck cancers. Mouth cancer and other head and neck cancers are often treated similarly.
All We Need To Know About Oral Cancer:
Cancer is defined as the uncontrollable growth of cells that invade and cause damage to surrounding tissue. Oral cancer appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that does not go away. Oral cancer, which includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and pharynx (throat), can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.
What are the signs and symptoms of oral cancer?
The following are the common signs and symptoms:
– Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth.
– The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
– Unexplained bleeding in the mouth.
– Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck.
– Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within two weeks.
– A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat.
How is oral cancer treated?
Oral cancer is treated the same way many other cancers are treated; that is with surgery to remove the cancerous growth followed by radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy (drug treatments) to destroy any remaining cancer cells.
What Can I Do to Prevent Oral Cancer?
To prevent oral cancer:
•Don't smoke or use any tobacco products and drink alcohol in moderation (and refrain from binge drinking).
•Eat a well balanced diet.
•Limit your exposure to the sun. Repeated exposure increases the risk of cancer on the lip, especially the lower lip. When in the sun, use UV-A/B-blocking sun protective lotions on your skin, as well as your lips.
Your Best Option
When in doubt, seek prevention! You should already practice daily oral hygiene to prevent tooth decay and gum disease: brush for two minutes twice a day, floss daily and limit sweets. But by regulating certain lifestyle choices – smoking, alcohol use and sun exposure, for example – you can significantly lower your risk of developing oral cancer.
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