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.