Oral cancer is one of the biggest health concerns the country is dealing with right now. Every year, around 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer. This is a glaring example of how cancer is wrecking American households with devastating impacts. Early diagnosis of oral cancer is important to avoid debilitating consequences on overall health. In some cases, death can happen due to oral or mouth cancer. Therefore, it’s crucial to identify the signs of oral cancer before it becomes deadly. Every dentist often advises Americans to make regular trips to a dental clinic near you. Regular dental check-ups can help dentists to make an early diagnosis of oral cancer. So, keep on reading below to understand what causes oral cancer and the types of oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Signs
The common oral cancer symptoms are
- Sudden weight loss
- Unexplained bleeding in the gums
- Difficulty in chewing food or swallowing or speaking
- The appearance of velvety white, a combination of red & white patches in the mouth
- Change in voice or hoarseness
- Ear pain
- The regular appearance of sores or spots on the face, neck, or mouth that don’t heal within 2 weeks
- Numbness or tenderness in the mouth, face, or neck
Types of Oral Cancer
- Squamous cell carcinoma
- Oral Verrucous Carcinoma
- Oral Melanoma
- Benign oral cavity tumors
- Lip cancer
- Jaw cancer
- Tongue cancer
What Causes Oral Cancer?
Mouth cancers occur when the cells’ DNA present in the lips or mouth start mutating. Mutations in the cells are bad as the cells continue to grow and divide while the healthy cells would die. Now, the mouth cells would form a tumor and gradually spread to the other parts of the body like the neck. Usually, mouth cancers start in the flat, thin cells that line up the lips and the inside of the mouth. Most oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. Scientists and doctors still haven’t pinpointed the reasons for the cell mutations that cause mouth cancer. Yet, we can identify the factors upping the risk of mouth cancer.
Risk Factors of Oral Cancer
- Excessive use of Tobacco use like cigarettes, pipe, chewing tobacco among many others.
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Lips heavy exposure to the sun
- Sexually transmitted diseases like human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Weak immunity system
Oral Cancer Treatment
The treatment would depend on the cancer’s location, stage, and overall body health. Mostly, the patient will undergo one treatment type but there could be a combination of treatments. Some of the oral cancer treatment options are chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.