Reports show that about 1 in 60 men get oral cancer, while 1 in 140 women get oral cancer. This type of cancer is more prevalent in men, but it is still a risk that everyone should keep in mind.
Because of this, oral cancer screening is very important for people to prioritize. As this is a precautionary measure that should be taken frequently to be on the safe side.
There are certain things that could make you more likely to get oral cancer, making screening more important. Keep reading to find out what could cause oral cancer and treatment options.
What Can Cause Oral Cancer?
Many people are at risk of getting oral pre-cancer or actual oral cancer. Both will be easier to treat if they are caught quickly before fully developing into something more serious.
Two of the most common things that can cause this kind of cancer are smoking tobacco and chewing tobacco. Excess alcohol consumption is also something that puts you at greater risk.
It is shown that those who chew tobacco and drink alcohol have greater risks. As the two in combination can pose a greater threat to your oral health.
Human HPV can also lead to oral cancer, especially if it is type 16. Oral cancer will commonly develop on the back of the throat or tongue as well as the soft palate.
Though it is important to note that many people can get oral cancer without any reason. These oral cancer causes increase your risk, but many still get this cancer mysteriously.
Even if you have no real risk factors, you could still get this type of cancer. This is why it is so important for people to stay aware of this and get screened for oral cancer.
You can never be too cautious, so preventative steps are a good idea for everyone. But especially for those with any of these common risk factors.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Now that you know what can cause oral cancer, you may be wondering about oral cancer symptoms. There are many kinds of symptoms that one might experience.
Some people experience pain in their mouths as well as in their faces and around their ears. Though it is also not uncommon for people to have no pain at all.
Some people may also have chronic coughing without any known cause. Or they may have swollen lymph nodes in their neck.
Many people with oral cancer symptoms have bad breath, ulcers, or white patches. You may also have a lump in your mouth or defined red patches of tissue in your mouth.
What Does Oral Cancer Look Like?
Many people are able to screen themselves if they know what to look for. Oral cancer can often be easy to spot if you are showing common symptoms.
Many people will notice white or red patches of skin in their mouths. These will be defined patches that stand out and have a stark edge that contrasts with the rest of your tissue.
The tissue in your mouth often varies in color, but these patches will be very noticeable. You may also notice lumps or sores and ulcers that do not heal after several weeks.
If you notice any of these oral cancer symptoms, you should get oral cancer screening done. Screening yourself can be a great way to be proactive, but you should get checked out as well.
Especially if you notice any of these symptoms or any patches in your mouth. Screening will help to catch oral cancer before it progresses, making it easier to treat.
When You Should Get Oral Cancer Screening
Anyone over the age of 20 should be screened for oral cancer every three years. You should have this done annually if you are at a greater risk of this type of cancer.
People over the age of 40 should have annual screenings done as part of their oral health routine. You can also discuss this with your dentist to see if you need more frequent screenings done.
Typical screening includes your dentist examining your mouth for patches, sores, and bumps. They may even use a dye to better examine areas that may be cancerous.
Your dentist may also use a laser light to help detect abnormalities. If anything suspicious is found, you may need to have a follow-up visit to see if the area is still there.
If it does not go away and your dentist believes it could be cancerous, a biopsy might be done. This can help to provide exact results as to what the patch, lump, or sore is and if it is oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Treatment Options
If you do have oral cancer, there are a few oral cancer treatment options that may be used. Often the areas will be surgically removed, and radiation therapy may be used.
Some patients require chemotherapy as well depending on the severity of the cancer. Some patients only require one or two treatments to resolve the issue.
While others may have to have a combination of treatments in their case. Everyone is different, and you may require a more aggressive approach.
Oral Cancer Causes and Screening
If you are over the age of 20, you should be having oral cancer screening done regularly. This is very important as you want to catch oral cancer before it progresses too far.
Are you at a high risk of developing oral cancer, or do you want to get screened? Contact us today at Sweet Tooth Smiles for more information from our team.