Oral Cancer and What You Should Know
“You have cancer.” No one wants to hear this dreaded statement, of course. Cancer comes in different types since it is a disease of the cells in the body. We have different types of cells in the body and so different types of cancer can arise from those cells. However, all cancer types have something in common: the cancer cells are abnormal and they multiply aggressively.
What is mouth cancer?
Mouth cancer is a cancer that can develop in any part of the mouth including the gums, the tongue, the palate (roof of the mouth), under the tongue, and in the skin lining of the mouth, or the lips. It is also known as oral cancer. It used to be uncommon but nowadays, many cases are diagnosed each year – many of these cases are diagnosed by dentists and dental pathologists rather than doctors.
What causes this cancer?
It only takes one abnormal cell to cause a cancerous (malignant) tumour to start. The exact reason as to why a cell becomes cancerous is unclear. Studies say that something alters or damages certain genes in the cell – this makes the cell abnormal and causes it to multiply aggressively. Some people even develop mouth cancer for no apparent reason, but there are certain risk factors that increase the chance of mouth cancer from developing. These are:
*Alcohol – Excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of developing mouth cancer.
*Smoking – Just like other cancers, mouth cancer has a much higher incidence in smokers compared to non-smokers. This is also applicable for those who chew tobacco.
*Poor dental hygiene
*The human papillomavirus (HPV) might increase your risk of mouth cancer
*Dietary factors – eating a well-balanced diet that is high in vegetables, fruits and fish, and low in cholesterol can reduce the risk of oral cancer
What are its symptoms?
The most common symptom of this type of cancer would be a sore or ulcer in the mouth that does not heal. In some cases, changes are seen in the mouth even before the cancer develops. This means that early treatment of these changes might prevent a cancer from developing. Other symptoms include:
*Red or white patches anywhere in your mouth
*A lump on the lip, mouth, tongue or throat
*Unusual bleeding or numbness in the mouth
*Pain when chewing or swallowing
*Loose teeth feeling uncomfortable and not fitting properly
*A lump in the neck
*Change in your voice or speech problems
Note: Of course, all of these symptoms could be innocent and might be directly linked to other conditions. Any ulcer or sore that does not heal after three weeks should be checked and examined by Dr. Marvin Lean or one of his Associates at Pickering Square Dental. Schedule up an appointment with Dr. Marvin Lean if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. .
We are accepting new patients! Pickering Square Dental continues to grow and continues to accept new patients. If you are considering a new dentist for you and your family, we invite you to stop by to meet our team and take a tour of our office or to schedule an appointment.more