Let’s Talk About The “C” Word
- Posted on: Apr 15 2018
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Just about everyone has been touched by cancer somehow, either through a loved one or having received a diagnosis. The public is well informed about common types of cancer, but little information is readily available for oral cancer. Your oral health provider routinely checks for oral cancer during your examinations, but how much do you know about the condition?
Almost 50,000 people are diagnosed with a type of oral cancer each year, and approximately 20% of those people die from the condition. The prognosis for oral cancer is limited, and many people pass away from the disease within five years. The number of people who die from oral cancer has not improved, despite the morbidity rates of other cancers improving with research and new treatments.
Early Detection Improves Treatment Outcomes
Half the people who are diagnosed with oral cancer receive treatment and live beyond five years after the disease is detected. Seeing your dentist twice each year and knowing the signs of oral cancer improves your chances of successful treatment. Some of the most common signs of mouth cancer are:
- Difficulty moving your jaw
- White or red lesions on your lips or inside the mouth
- Hoarseness or a sore throat that lasts for a long period
- Difficulty wearing dentures
- Feeling like you lump the back of your throat
- Loose teeth that are not related to trauma or a dental issue
- Swelling, thickening of the skin, sores, and lumps around your nose or mouth
- Tenderness, numbness or pain on your tongue or inside your mouth
Risk Factors for Mouth Cancer
Researchers have not discovered a specific cause of mouth cancer, but smoking does increase your chances of developing the disease. Nine out of ten people who are diagnosed with mouth cancer are smokers. Cancer may develop on the lips due to sun exposure, and some research indicates a link with human papillomavirus or HPV.
Treatment for Mouth Cancer
If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, surgery is needed to remove the cancerous cells. You may also need chemotherapy or radiation treatment to ensure that all of the abnormal cells are eliminated.
Learn More About Oral Cancer Screenings. Contact Dr. Paul Covell.
To learn more about oral cancer screenings, treatment for TMD, restorative dentistry and our other services, contact Dr. Paul Covell to schedule an appointment. You can contact our Pasadena, Texas, office directly at (713) 943-9832.
Posted in: Oral Cancer