Oral Cancers

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is any type of cancer that occurs in the mouth, such as the lips, jaw, throat, or gums. It is usually detected in late stages because it does not often produce any significant symptoms. Early detection is important for successful treatment and increased chances of survival.

Causes of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is most commonly caused by using tobacco, either cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or smokeless tobacco. lt can also be caused by excessive alcohol consumption or excessive exposure to UV radiation. Other risk factors include viral infections such as human papillomavirus (HPV), poor diet, and some other medical conditions.

Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Early signs and symptoms of oral cancer can include a sore or lesion on the lip or in the mouth that does not heal, pain or tenderness around the affected area, difficulty or pain when swallowing, or a change in the color of the affected area. Other symptoms can include jaw swelling, hoarseness, unexplained weight loss, or difficulty in moving the tongue or jaw.

Diagnosis of Oral Cancer

Diagnosis of oral cancer can be done with a physical exam, a biopsy, or an imaging test. The doctor will look for any abnormal growths or lesions in the mouth, and will perform a biopsy to take a sample of tissue for testing. They may also use imaging tests such as MRI or CT scans to get a better look at the area.

Treatment of Oral Cancer

Treatment of oral cancer depends on the size and location of the tumor, as well as the stage of the cancer. Common treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.

Risks of Oral Cancer

  • Using tobacco
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Excessive exposure to UV radiation
  • Viral infections such as HPV
  • Poor diet
  • Certain medical conditions

Prevention of Oral Cancer

The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid using tobacco and limit alcohol consumption. Wearing sunscreen and protective clothing can also help reduce your risk of oral cancer. Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables is also important for reducing your risk of cancer. Finally, visiting your dentist regularly for check-ups is important for early detection of any potential tumors or lesions.