Mouth Cancer Information That Might Save Your Life
Most people are familiar with lung, breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Oral cancer is not as prevalent and most think you must be a smoker in order to get the disease, which is not true. Be sure and take all precautionary measures to mitigate the chance of getting this type of cancer.
What is Cancer?
First, ask yourself what cancer is in general. It’s when a person’s cells grow uncontrollably and begin attacking surrounding tissue in the body. It can happen on skin, organs and all types of tissue. Cancer does not discriminate based on ethnicity or gender, either.
People who get throat cancer aren’t even smokers. It’s medically proven that alcoholics are more susceptible to throat cancer, which goes undiagnosed before it spreads to other organs. Throat cancer patients mention a dripping in the back of the throat, and they chalked it up to a weird feeling and didn’t think it was a real problem.
Whenever something changes in the body from its norm, seeing your general practitioner and perhaps getting referred to an oncologist could save your life. Don’t delay if something changes on your skin or your overall physical well-being.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
When it comes to a person’s mouth, people with great hygiene tend to notice a difference inside their mouth first. This is great, since flossing and checking the tongue, gums and teeth is an important part of oral daily care. It just might also save your life.
When looking inside the mouth and on the lips, be sure and look for the following physical signs:
- Excessive bleeding
- Any type of numbness or loss of feeling of the neck, face or mouth
- White, red or spotted spots inside the mouth (i.e. back of throat, inside cheeks, gums and on tongue)
- Change in voice tone and continuous sore throat
- If teeth no longer fit together when biting
- Problems when eating, talking and movement of one’s jaw
- External sores that bleed and do not heal within one week
- Swelling and anything crusty on the outside of the mouth or even inside the oral cavity
These are just a few symptoms a person should look for on a daily basis. Just because a person doesn’t smoke doesn’t mean they cannot get oral cancer, so being diligent is critical to catching this type of cancer (or any type) as early as possible.
Men are More Susceptible than Women
Just because men have twice the risk of getting this type of cancer doesn’t mean women should relax and ignore self-checkups. Yet, age 50 and over for men do face the highest risk. Just as a woman or man would examine their bodies for signs, the mouth is often neglected. Everything isn’t necessarily a cold sore or the flu.
If any of the signs above continue for an extended period of time, your dentist will need to look at your mouth because they are familiar with the signs a person may not notice. This is another very important reason that Dr. Derek B. Hauser, DDS, asks his patients to see him twice per year for a visit and professional teeth cleaning.
Gum erosion, swollen gums and sores might indicate something more than tartar and plaque buildup. If you do have oral cancer, making sure Lakefront Family Dentistry sees you twice a year could save your life. Patients with no cavities or decay are just as susceptible to this disease, especially if cancer runs in your family.
Obvious High-Risk Factors Include:
- Chewing Tobacco (50 times higher likelihood of getting cheek, gum and lip cancer)
- Genetics and family history
- Sun Exposure (higher risk if more sun exposure was at a young age)
Twenty-Five Percent Still Get Oral Cancer
Even if you’re not in the high-risk category, 25% of this type of cancer hits non-smokers and casual drinkers. That’s why Dr. Hauser must see each patient and check for lumps and changes to the face and oral cavity area.
Make an Appointment Online or by Calling (951) 244-9495 Today and Remember to Tell Dr. Hauser if Something Feels or Looks Different, too. Lakefront Family Dentistry is the Leading General and Cosmetic Dentistry Private Practice in the Inland Empire that Treats Families and Values Each Patient and Their Oral Health!