Oral cancer is caused by the abnormal growth of cells in the mouth, which can develop into a tumour.
Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer or oral cavity cancer, is a type of cancer that affects any part of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, and gums. It is a serious condition that is life-threatening if not discovered and treated early.
These abnormal cells are caused by a variety of factors including:
- Tobacco use (smoking or chewing).
- Excessive alcohol consumption.
- Poor diet.
- Exposure to certain viruses such as the Human PapillomaVirus (HPV).
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The symptoms of oral cancer vary depending on the location and stage of the cancer. However, some common signs include:
- A sore or ulcer in the mouth that doesn’t heal.
- Persistent pain or discomfort in the mouth.
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing.
- A lump or thickening in the cheek or tongue.
- White or red patch on the gums, tongue, or lining of the mouth.
- Numbness or tingling in the mouth or lips.
- Changes in the way the teeth fit together.
If you notice any of these symptoms, see a dentist or doctor as soon as possible. This is important for evaluation and diagnosis.
Treatment for Oral Cancer
- Surgery to remove the tumour
- Radiation therapy or chemotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells.
In some cases, a combination of these treatments may be used.
Prevention is key when it comes to oral cancer. To reduce the risk of oral cancer, adhere to the following:
- Avoid tobacco use (smoking or chewing)
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Protect your lips from sun exposure with a lip balm that contains SPF
- Practice good oral hygiene, including regular dental check-ups
- Get vaccinated against HPV to help reduce your risk of developing oral cancer caused by this virus.
In conclusion, despite oral cancer being a serious condition, it can be prevented and treated if detected early. But if you notice any symptoms or risk factors, don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist or doctor about your concerns.