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Oral Cancer


Oral Cancer: It Could Happen To You

While adults aged 40 or older, especially men, are most susceptible … people of all ages are at risk of developing oral cancer. It is one of the most common types of cancer, with one of the lowest survival rates. Thousands of new cases are reported each year, and fewer than half of those diagnosed with oral cancer are ever cured.

While it can happen any place in the mouth- such as the lips, gums, and other soft palate tissues in the mouth- the tongue appears to be the most common location for cancer to occur.

Those who are diagnosed with cancer often develop complications from their cancer treatments, many of which can be very painful. Some of the complications often experienced from oral cancer treatment include extremely sensitive teeth, accelerated tooth decay and dry mouth. However, if this disorder is not treated quickly the disease can spread to facial and neck tissues resulting in disfigurement and pain.

The Warning Signs and Prevention of Oral Cancer

The early warning signs often take the shape of lumps, patchy areas and lesions (or breaks) in the tissues of the mouth. These abnormalities are rarely painful in the early stages, making even self-diagnosis difficult. The best way to take care of your mouth is to routinely visit your dentist and respond quickly to any potential problems that may arise. Surgery may be required to remove a tumor if it is found, and some facial disfigurement could also result.

Some other warning signs of oral cancer include hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, lumps or growths in the throat or neck, and unusual bleeding or persistent sores in the mouth.

To effectively prevent oral diseases of any form, visit your dentist regularly and follow the recommended guidelines for oral hygiene and care. One of the biggest causes of oral cancer is tobacco and alcohol use; but certain types of foods-- and even overexposure-- to the sun have also been linked to this disease. Some experts believe certain risk factors are also hereditary. Ultimately, the best defense is regular visits to the dentist, good oral hygiene, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

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