There are a lot of types of cancer and people are familiar with most of them. Oral cancer is one of the types and it is considered to be not that common but it is not uncommon either. People need to know that this type of cancer is considered to be a subtype of head and neck cancer. The oral cavity is the place where the cancerous tissue will grow. The tongue is the most common place where the cancer will occur but it can also appear on the floor of the mouth, cheek lining, gums, lips and palate.You should know
A lot of people are unaware of the fact that oral cancer usually starts as a small spot or sore which is either red or white in color. This earliest sign of oral cancer goes unnoticed by most people due to various reasons. Most people do not believe that such a tiny spot can be an early sign of oral cancer. Some people do not even notice it. Another important thing about the earliest sign of oral cancer that people should be aware is that the tiny red or white spot can be seen in any area of the oral cavity. Lips, gums, tongue and soft and hard palate are the most commonly affected places.
Another early sign of oral cancer is the change in the way teeth fit together. A person who notices this change should go as soon as possible to the dentist because he or she will be able to diagnose if there is a certain chance of oral cancer developing.
People who use tobacco either by smoking it or chewing it should know that they are in real danger of suffering from oral cancer. Tobacco is considered to be one of the biggest risk factors of oral cancer. Apart from all these, there are some other signs of early oral cancer. For instance, a sore that does not heal easily and bleeds quite a lot is one of them. If a person notices a change in the color of the oral tissue, that can be a symptom as well. The sensations of numbness, tenderness and pain anywhere in the mouth area can be early signs of oral cancer too. A person who has problems with chewing, swallowing and even talking should go to the doctor.
Trouble with moving the jaw and tongue are considered to be early signs of oral cancer as well. People who are over 40 and consume a lot of alcohol and tobacco are at most danger of developing oral cancer.
Importance of Regular Dental Check-ups
Every person in the world should be aware that going to the dentist at least two times a year is very important. Apart from checking the health of the teeth, the dentist is able to see any of the possible signs of oral cancer. Pre-cancerous conditions can be seen as well and they are very important for the start of the early treatment. Every person knows that there are a lot more chances of survival if the treatment starts as early as possible.
However, people should not think that all of the red and white spots which appear on the tongue or somewhere else in the mouth are dangerous. The fact is that the majority of these spots are harmless but people should get them checked in order to be sure. The dentists prefer using a brush test in order to determine whether the spot is dangerous or not. This test consists of collecting the cells from a suspicious lesion in the mouth and sending it to the laboratory in order for it to be analyzed. In case any precancerous cells are found, the lesion will be removed through surgery.
Early detection and treatment provide a better chance for cure
The chances of curing any type of cancer are a lot bigger if the cancer was discovered in its early stages. This is another reason why people should not skip their dental appointments. The dentist plays a very important role in detecting oral cancer. It is a lot easier to detect oral cancer nowadays than it was some years ago. People should be aware of the fact that 50% of all the oral cancer patients do not live more than 5 years after being diagnosed with it.
People should be aware of the fact that they can perform a self-exam and that they should do it every month. For more details they should talk to the dentist.
Relevant statistical data
Oral cancer is a lot more common in people who are older than 50 years of age. Men are a lot more prone to oral cancer than women but the ratio is not as high as it used to be and nowadays it is 2:1.
According to the data, every year 34,360 people in the United States are diagnosed with oral cancer. Some 7,500 of these people die because of it. The data also claims that African-Americans are more prone to suffering from oral cancer than other people.