Oral cancer is a cancer that if left untreated, can be extremely deadly. With over 45,000 people being diagnosed with oral cancer a year, this form of cancer can not only turn your life upside down but it may have you reconsider some of your daily habits as well. Not familiar with oral cancer? Read on to learn more.
How is oral cancer caused?
75% of oral cancer diagnosed in the U.S. is induced by either habitual smoking or drinking. If you are a big smoker or drinker, make sure that you are visiting the dentist at least every six months to get checked for oral cancer. However, the other 25% of oral cancer is not linked to any sort of direct cause— that is why it’s important to make sure you’re familiar with the signs and symptoms of oral cancer.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Among visiting your dentist every six months for a check-up, you should also look out for the following oral cancer symptoms:
- Reddish patches or whitish patches in the mouth
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
- A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
If you notice that you have any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately in order to be given a proper oral cancer screening.
Treatment for Oral Cancer
If your dentist suspects that you may have a form of oral cancer, he or she will order a biopsy to be done in order to detect any forms of cancer. If the biopsy comes back positive and depending on the severity of the cancer, treatment options include: radiation, surgery, and medication.
Any form of cancer is scary and the thought of it going untreated is equally as frightening. If you suspect that you or a loved one has oral cancer, make sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. By getting to the root of the problem, you could potentially save your own life.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment with our office, contact us today!