Oral cancer is developing into a serious problem in the Western world; over 40,000 people in the United States alone were told they have oral cancer in 2014. Men are twice as likely to receive this diagnosis as women and males over the age of 50 are at the greatest risk.
Oral cancer typically begins life as a growth/sore in the mouth that simply won’t go away. The term ‘oral cancer’ covers cancers of the tongue, lips, floor of the mouth, sinuses and much more. It is a very serious condition which can be life-threatening if it is not uncovered quickly. Common symptoms include:
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth.
- Soreness or a feeling that there is something caught in the back of your mouth.
- Ear pain.
- Rapid weight loss.
- A change in the way your teeth/dentures fit together.
- Chronic sore throat, hoarseness or a change in your voice.
- Smoking: If you smoke a pipe, cigar or cigarettes, you are six times more likely to develop oral cancer than a non-smoker.
- Excessive Consumption of Alcohol: Again, you are six times more likely to get oral cancer if you drink too much alcohol than if you are teetotal.
- Excessive Sun Exposure: Especially from a young age.
- Hereditary Factors: You are at risk if you have a family history of cancer.
It should be noted that approximately 25% of all oral cancer cases occur in people who don’t smoke and only drink moderate amounts of alcohol.
If you believe that you may be suffering from oral cancer, get in touch with your doctor today. Oral cancer is treated in the same way as other forms of cancer which means surgery to get rid of the growth followed by chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy to ensure the remaining cancer cells are destroyed.
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