Oral Cancer: A Reality That is Harder to Swallow
People often forget the necessity for oral hygiene. Vices such as drinking and smoking affect your liver and lungs, but they can have a devastating effect on your mouth as well. Alcohol and tobacco use are significant factors in the development of oral cancer.
Oral cancer is the fractious multiplication of cells that infect and damage surrounding tissues. If you have a suspicious growth or a sore that would not go away, then that could be oral cancer.
Failure to detect mouth cancer in its early stages is life threatening. In fact, the mortality rate of oral cancer is higher than that of thyroid, cervical, and laryngeal cancer.
- Dysphagia – Difficulties swallowing and moving the jaw or tongue; the jaw may also swell and cause dentures to fit poorly.
- Constant Pain – This is the most common sign of oral cancer. Patients should be wary of sores and white or red patches along the lining of the mouth, on the tongue, gums, and tonsils.
- Dramatic Weight Loss – caused by the reduced intake of food because of the unbearable pain in the mouth.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms family dental clinics like the Gentle Dentist in Ellettsville suggest undergoing oral cancer screening. There is nothing wrong with being cautious and wanting to get screened for oral cancer. After all, it is a disease that will cause discomfort and cost a lot in treatment once it gets worse.
There are studies that establish links between excessive alcohol intake and oral cancer. Around 70% of those diagnosed with the disease have a history of drinking in excessive amounts. Heavy drinkers, along with those who smoke, chew or snuff tobacco products, are prone to getting oral cancer.
While vices heavily contribute to this, it could also be hereditary or come as a result of other conditions. For example, patients with the Human Papillomavirus (HPV), while linked to cervical cancer, heightens the risk factor for both oral and oropharyngeal cancers.
The People at Risk
Oral and oropharyngeal cancers are more prevalent in men rather than women. But, that line is slowly disappearing due to more women indulging in excessive smoking and drinking. The average of diagnosis is 62, while two-thirds of people living with oral cancer are ages 55 and above.
There are plenty of ways for doctors to detect oral cancer. But, the research on the condition is still incomplete. Just because a patient doesn’t fit the given symptoms and criteria doesn’t mean that they’re safe. Remember, it could happen to anyone. *dramatic music*