Everything You Should Know About Oral Cancer
Cancer has become a global predicament. Children and adults alike are losing their lives to cancer every day. The cancerous cells can rapidly multiply and cause harm to patients. When it comes to oral cancer, the stakes are the same. Surprisingly, more people are succumbing to oral cancer today more than ever. Could it be that we disregard the effects that oral cancer can have?
What is Oral Cancer?
It is a type of cancer that attacks the human mouth and related parts. It features the growth of abnormal cancerous cells in any part of the mouth. These cells replicate so quickly, causing harm to the healthy and normal cells in the surrounding areas.
Oral cancer can come in many forms, depending on where it has affected. It will be considered oral cancer for as long as it occurs in any of the parts of the oral cavity. Some of the different types of oral cancer include:
- Cancer of the lips
- Throat cancer
- Cancer of the gum tissue
- Cancer of the tongue
- Cancer of the floor or roof of the mouth
Given the various forms it can take, oral cancer is in other terms known as oral cavity cancer.
What Are The Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
Cancer attacks people differently. The initial stages of cancer can have different symptoms presented for your case than with other patients. These differences are based on the individual immune systems, amidst the risk factors involved in your lifestyle. Some of the symptoms to expect when you have oral cancer include the following:
- Pain in the mouth – whether you are chewing or biting into food, cancer will cause a certain kind of discomfort. The pain makes eating especially difficult for patients.
- Lumps and bumps on your mouth – cancerous cells tend to clump up together forming uneven swellings and bumps in your mouth. Sometimes the lumps can be painful, and other times, not as much.
- Mouth Sores – there are different types of mouth sores. They may look similar, but they are not. An oral cancer specialist is best placed at telling apart the differences and offering you the correct diagnosis. Even then, it is important to consider that some mouth Sores can be as a result of oral cancer. Watch the habits of the mouth sores. If they are recurrent, you may need to consider oral cancer screening services. Also, it is important to note that cancerous mouth sores do not heal.
- Pain in your ears – your ears are largely connected to your mouth. When the oral cavity is in distress, it is expected that the ears will experience some discomfort as well.
What Are the Risk Factors For Oral Cancer?
Cancer can attack anyone. However, some situations can put you at a greater risk of getting cancer than other typical human beings. Some of them have to do with your lineage, while the rest is highly affected by your lifestyle choices. Some of the risk factors include:
- Tobacco usage – tobacco is known to harm the body and even damage healthy cells. This does not only regard your smoking habits. Chewing tobacco or even sniffing it regularly will increase your chances of oral cancer than not.
- Alcohol consumption – of you thought that alcohol consumption has effects only on your liver, then you thought wrong. Excessive consumption of alcohol can tremendously increase your risk of oral cancer. The alcoholic drinks can be very harsh in your lips, gums and even throat, leading to oral cancer.
- Genetics – does oral cancer run in your family? If so, chances are, you may be at risk of the same. Genetics play a big role in your general health. This is why your medical history is always important to your dentist.
- Excessive exposure to the sun – the rays of the sun are harsh to the skin. If you spend most of your time outdoors without proper protection for your skin, the UV rays will damage your skin. Oral cancer, in this case, will most likely affect the lips as opposed to inside your mouth.
- Weak immune system – your immune system plays a big role in balancing out the health of your body. This, for the most part, involves fighting infections and diseases. With a compromised immune system, oral cancer can easily knock you down.