One of the most common cancers found today is oral cancer. Unfortunately, oral cancer has one of the lowest survival rates. There are thousands of new cases reported each year, but fewer than half of all people that are diagnosed are ever cured.
Any form of cancer can develop complications for a patient, some of them chronic and painful, during their cancer treatment. Those conditions could include accelerated tooth decay or dry mouth. There is always the chance you’ll experience overly sensitive teeth.
If discovered, oral cancer should be treated immediately. If it is ignored, it could spread to other facial and neck tissues. This could lead to disfigurement and pain.
The most vulnerable group is older adults over the age of 40. Men are particularly susceptible. However, people of all ages are at risk of developing the disease.
Although oral cancer can be discovered in any area of the mouth, the tongue has been the most common location. It can also attack other oral structures like the lips, gums and other soft palate tissues.
Recognize the early signs of oral cancer. If you find any lumps, patchy areas, lesions, or breaks, in your mouth, you should have your dentist examine them. The danger is that these abnormalities are not painful in the early stages. This makes self-diagnosis difficult.
Be aware of these additional warning signs:
- Hoarseness or difficulty swallowing.
- Unusual bleeding or persistent sores in your mouth that don't heal.
- Lumps or growths in other nearby areas, like the throat or neck.
If anything is found, surgery will be necessary. You could have some facial disfigurement afterwards.
Your biggest ally is prevention. There are certain culprits you should be aware of such as tobacco and alcohol. Particular foods or overexposure to the sun have also been linked to the disease. There is always the hereditary factor, as well.
Make sure your diet contains plenty of fruits and vegetables. That is one of your best defenses. In addition, maintain good oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly.