Tag Archives: Oral Cancer

Everything You Should Know About Oral Cancer

Oral cancer appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that won’t go away, and approximately fifty-three thousand Americans are diagnosed with it every year, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.

Mouth cancer refers to cancer that develops in any part of the mouth, such as the lips, gums, tongue, inner lining of the cheeks, and the roof or floor of the mouth. This condition can be life-threatening if it’s not diagnosed early. Continue reading to learn more about oral cancer

Understanding Oral Cancer

One person dies from oral cancer each hour, resulting in over nine thousand oral cancer-related deaths each year. Of the fifty-three thousand Americans diagnosed with it, only an estimated fifty-seven percent of them will be alive in the next five years. If you expand the definition of oral cancer to include larynx cancer, the numbers of diagnosed cases increase to fifty-four thousand individuals, and over thirteen-thousand deaths per year in the U.S. alone. 

Some countries don’t track cases of oral cancer, so the above figures are bound to increase when you consider unreported cases. The mortality rate of people who live with it is higher than that of cancers that are more talked about, such as cervical or breast cancer. Historically, the death rate of this cancer is alarmingly high because it’s usually discovered late in its development. Even with today’s technology, there’s no comprehensive program in the U.S. to screen for it during its early stages; this is why late-stage oral cancer is prevalent. 

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Here are the most common symptoms of oral cancer:

  • Swellings, lumps, rough spots, and crusts forming on the lips, gums, or other areas of the mouth 
  • Development of velvety white, red, or speckled patches in the mouth 
  • Bleeding in the mouth
  • Numbness or pain in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and don’t heal within two weeks
  • Difficulty chewing, speaking or swallowing
  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • Feeling like something is caught in the back of your throat
  • Sharp ear pain
  • Change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
  • Dramatic weight loss

If you notice any of these symptoms, visit your dentist or orthodontist immediately. 

Risk Factors Associated with Oral Cancer

Men face twice the risk of developing oral cancer compared to women, according to the American Cancer Society. Unfortunately, men who are over age fifty are the demographic who are most at risk. Other risk factors include:

  • Excessive consumption of alcohol. Oral cancer is six times more common in people who drink. 
  • Family history of cancer
  • Excessive exposure to the sun, especially at a young age. 
  • Cigarette, cigar, and pipe smokers

Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah

If you suspect you may have oral cancer, consult with your dentist immediately. Your dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon for a definitive diagnosis. Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah, and our board-certified surgeons will help you. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Schedule an assessment today. 

Everything You Should Know About Oral Cancer

What You Need To Know About Oral Cancer

Oral cancer begins in the mouth or throat but can easily move to other parts of the body if left untreated. Keep an eye out for oral cancer symptoms to ensure you catch any potential problems early on.

How Common is Oral Cancer?

Approximately 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.  This will lead to over 9,750 deaths in the year due to oral cancer. Over five years after diagnosis, oral cancer has a 57% survival rate. One of the biggest threats oral cancer poses is its ability to remain hidden. It often goes some time without being diagnosed, which can lead to a lower survival rate. Oral cancer can grow and spread without showing many if any, symptoms that are recognizable. When oral cancer goes unnoticed, it is much more likely to produce secondary, primary tumors.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

There can be many causes of oral cancer. The most common symptoms include tobacco use, alcohol use, ultraviolet exposure, poor nutrition and hygiene, and HPV. Oral cancer does become more of a threat with age. It is also much more common in men than in women. Maintaining good oral health and overall health and nutrition may help you avoid a run-in with oral cancer.

What are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

It’s no surprise that oral cancer starts in the mouth. It can interfere with breathing, talking, eating, chewing, and swallowing. Symptoms of oral cancer include:

–          Sores or pain in the mouth that linger for extended periods

–          Swollen cheeks

–          A lump in the cheek or neck

–          White or red patches in the mouth

–          Sore throat

–          Consistent bad breath

–          Numbness in the mouth

–          Trouble swallowing or moving the mouth

–          Loosening of teeth

–          Change in voice

–          Weight loss

Many of these symptoms can be attributed to other ailments as well, which is why oral cancer symptoms often go unnoticed for long periods of time. If you do notice any of these symptoms, be sure to see a dentist or oral surgeon. They will be able to determine if it is indeed oral cancer, another alignment, or if you have nothing to worry about.

Treatment

There are multiple options for oral cancer treatments. Some approaches include surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy, dental procedures, nutrition, rehabilitation, and biotherapies. The stage of the cancers’ development and the specifics of each case will determine the right path today. You may also try a combination of things, such as radiation and surgery. Chemotherapy, immunotherapies, and other target therapies.

If you are battling oral surgery or are experiencing possible symptoms, come see us at Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah. Our expert surgeons can help you through this battle and ensure that you are as comfortable as possible. Come in for a consultation today.

What You Need To Know About Oral Cancer

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer includes cancer in the lips, tongue, cheeks, the floor of the mouth, sinuses, throat, and hard and soft palates. Cancer is an uncontrollable growth of cells—these cells invade and damage tissue. Oral cancer is often manifest in a sore that will not go away.

Common Oral Cancer Symptoms:

  • Jaw swelling
  • Change in voice
  • Weight loss
  • Bad breath
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty moving tongue and jaw
  • Struggling to swallow or chew
  • Sore throat
  • White and red patches in the mouth or lips
  • Mouth pain
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Mouth sores that don’t heal
  • Pain in the ears without loss of hearing
  • Loose teeth

Oral Cancer Screening

Screenings for oral cancer and quick and painless. As is always the case with cancer, it’s much more manageable if you catch it early on. During a typical check up at your dentist, they should also be visually scanning your mouth and lips for any outward signs. Your dentist may also palpate your neck and jaw to examine. These screenings should be done every six months. If you notice any potential symptoms of oral cancer, discuss it with your dentist. They will likely refer you to an oral surgeon if there is anything suspicious—that’s where we come in. At Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah, we specialize in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Our experienced surgeons are at the top of their game—we will help you through the process from diagnosis to surgery and ensure that you are as comfortable as possible.

Oral Cancer Treatment

If a dentist suspects cancer, they will likely recommend a biopsy of the area. If there is a diagnosis of cancer, surgery is often a good option. Radiation and chemotherapy treatment may also be recommended. Most treatments for oral cancers are multidisciplinary.

Your individual treatment will differ based on your diagnosis. Whether you need surgery, therapy, another treatment, or some combination there are will depend on the type of your cancer and what stage it’s in.

Patients with oral cancers that are caught and treated in the early stages experience little to no post treatment disfigurement. However, patients with extensive cancer growth may need to have portions of their oral cavity or facial features removed to effectively remove the cancer and prevent further growth.

Oral Cancer Prevention

Preventing oral cancer is as simple as practicing good oral hygiene. Brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day will help keep your mouth healthy. Preventing tooth decay and gum disease can help to prevent oral cancer. You should also be sure to use fluoride toothpaste to ensure maximum oral health.

If you are in need of oral surgery, come see us at Oral and Facial Surgery of Utah. Our professional surgeons have years of experience. Your comfort is our top priority. Come see us to learn more.

Symptoms and Signs of Oral Cancer