City Creek Dental

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Oral Cancer: Recognizing the Warning Signs and Taking Action

Oral cancer is one of the most common cancers today and has one of the lowest survival rates, with thousands of new cases being reported each year. Fewer than half of all people diagnosed with oral cancer are ever cured.

If oral cancer is not treated in time, it could spread to other facial and neck tissues, leading to disfigurement and pain. Older adults over the age of 40 (especially men) are most susceptible to developing oral cancer, but people of all ages are at risk. Prevention and early detection are key, so contact your dentist immediately if you are experiencing any symptoms of oral cancer.

Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, but the tongue appears to be the most common location. Other oral structures could include the lips, gums and other soft palate tissues in the mouth.

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

Early signs of oral cancer usually occur in the form of lumps, patchy areas and lesions, or breaks, in the tissues of the mouth. In many cases, these abnormalities are not painful in the early stages, making self-diagnosis difficult. That is why it’s important to regularly visit your dentist and explain any symptoms of oral cancer that you may be experiencing.

Here are some additional warning signs:

  • Hoarseness or difficulty swallowing.
  • Unusual bleeding or persistent sores in the mouth that won’t heal.
  • Lumps or growths in other nearby areas, such as the throat or neck.

What causes oral cancer?

There are several known causes of oral cancer, and one of the biggest culprits is tobacco and alcohol use. Certain kinds of foods and even overexposure to the sun have also been linked to oral cancer. Some experts believe certain oral cancer risk factors are also hereditary.

What is the most common oral cancer treatment?

If a tumor is found, surgery will generally be required to remove it, and some facial disfigurement could also result. Some patients must also have lymph nodes in their neck and face removed. According to the American Cancer Society, chemotherapy and radiation are also successful oral cancer treatments.

How do I prevent oral cancer?

Prevention is the key to staving off oral cancer, and avoiding all tobacco products is the best way to prevent oral cancer.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is also one of the best defenses against oral cancer. Maintaining good oral hygiene, and regular dental checkups, are highly recommended. If you are experiencing symptoms of oral cancer, contact City Creek Dental to schedule an appointment today.



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