Oral hygiene is very important, but it needs emphasis once in a while because it seems that people forget the necessity for it. Moreover, vices such as drinking and smoking not only affect you liver and lungs. Did you know that it could also affect your mouth? Some of the causes oral cancer include alcohol and tobacco use.
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. Are you worried that you or someone you know might have oral cancer?
If you have a suspicious growth or a sore that would not go away, then that could be oral cancer. It is the fractious multiplication of cells that infect and damage surrounding tissues.
In the case of not being able to detect it and so being unable to diagnose and treat it in its early stages, this could be life threatening. Mortality rate of oral cancer is higher than that of thyroid cancer, cervical cancer, and laryngeal cancer, to name a few.
• Having difficulties in swallowing (Dysphagia) and in moving the jaw or tongue. The jaw may also swell and cause dentures to fit poorly.
• Considered as the most common sign of oral cancer, watch out for constant pain in the mouth. In addition, be wary of mouth sores and white or red patches along the lining of the mouth, on the tongue, gums, and tonsils.
• Dramatic weight loss – caused by the little to no intake of food because of the unbearable pain in the mouth.
Excessive alcohol intake links back to oral cancer; around 70% of those diagnosed with oral cancer drink in excessive amounts. Heavy drinkers, along with those who smoke and chew or snuff tobacco products are prone to getting oral cancer.
While vices heavily contribute to this, the cancer could also be hereditary.
HPV, while linked to cervical cancer, is a risk factor for both oral and oropharyngeal cancers.
The People at Risk
Oral and oropharyngeal cancers are more prevalent in men rather than women. However, it is now becoming prevalent in women, too, due to more women succumbing to excessive smoking and drinking. As for age, 62 is the average age of diagnosis, while two-thirds of people living with oral cancer are ages 55 and above.
If you have a sore that keeps bothering you because it would not go away, have it checked. Who’s to say that oral cancer only affect those aged 55 and above. Remember that it could happen to anyone.