While it’s never good news to receive a cancer diagnosis, the National Institute of Dental Craniofacial Research reports that over 50% of everyone in the United States diagnosed with oral cancer survives after five years.
On top of that, when oral cancer is diagnosed in its early stages it is much easier to combat, treat, and beat – which is why it is so important that you stay on the lookout for common signs and symptoms of this condition.
Your dentist will help in detecting any abnormalities during your routine check-up. If you notice any signs or symptoms of oral cancer it’s important that you reach out to the experts at Novato Oral Surgery ASAP for a more in-depth diagnosis. You’ll want to jump out ahead of this issue as early as possible.
COMMON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ORAL CANCER
Oral cancer is an uncontrollable growth of cells throughout your mouth that can cause terrible damage to the surrounding tissue, particularly in your lips, and your cheeks, your tongue, and throughout the rest of your mouth.
It can be particularly dangerous if you allow the cancer to spread into your lymph nodes. Cancers can quickly become very aggressive and spread to other parts of your body reducing your chances of recovery.
There are a couple of signs and symptoms you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for, but the most common oral cancer symptoms to be aware of include:
- Unexplained and persistent bleeding throughout your mouth
- Tiny discolored specs of white, red, or white and red spots throughout your mouth
- Swelling, lumps and bumps, and rough spots on your lips, gums, and other soft tissue areas
- Feeling like something is stuck in your throat on a persistent basis
- A significant change or shift in your teeth and your smile
- Dramatic weight loss for no real discernible reason
If any of the signs and symptoms are observed it’s important that you reach out to the professionals at Novato Oral Surgery quickly for a diagnostic examination.
CAN ORAL CANCER BE TREATED EFFECTIVELY?
There is a multitude of different effective oral cancer treatment options available here at Novato Oral Surgery and in general, but everything really comes down to a quick diagnosis and getting out ahead of this issue as quickly as humanly possible.
A diagnostic exam will be administered to figure out exactly what you are up against. This will include a physical examination and almost always the removal of at least some tissue for a biopsy. Imaging tests and care inspections can be recommended, too.
From there, you may need to move forward with oral surgery or radiation therapy and potentially chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy, or immunotherapy protocols depending on the actual diagnosis.
For more details or to set up that diagnostic examination, contact Novato Oral Surgery ASAP.
HOW CAN I CONDUCT A SELF EXAM FOR ORAL CANCER
You should conduct a self-exam at least once a month. In front of a mirror, take a bright light and shine it inside your mouth. You could start by looking at and feeling your lips and the front of your gums. Then you could look at the roof of your mouth by tilting your head backward. Look inside the mouth by pulling your cheeks out, checking the lining of the cheek and back of your gums. Look at all surfaces of your tongue and the floor of your mouth. Check the throat and feel around your jaw and side of your neck. Pay particular attention to your lymph glands for any swelling. If you notice any changes or symptoms mentioned in the above article then call the office at Novato Oral Surgery.
What should I do if I notice symptoms of oral cancer?
If you notice any signs or symptoms highlighted above you need to get help from dental experts just as soon as you are able to. A diagnostic exam needs to be executed immediately. Early detection is everything when fighting cancer.
How serious are oral cancer issues?
As highlighted earlier, oral cancer issues are very serious but the survival rate is tremendously high – particularly when you are able to get out in front of oral cancer before it has a chance to really manifest in potentially life-threatening ways.
Are treatment options viable?
Modern cancer treatment options are better than they have ever been in the past, including those specifically designed to treat oral cancers. They also happen to be getting better and better every day.
HOW CAN I REDUCE THE RISK OF GETTING ORAL CANCER?
There are many risk factors that can contribute to getting oral cancer. Reducing or eliminating exposure to these risks will give you a better chance of avoiding oral cancer. Some of the risk factors include smoking tobacco or using other tobacco products in the mouth, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, and excessive exposure to the sun. It’s important to note that 25% of those diagnosed with oral cancer are non-smokers and only drink alcohol occasionally. Therefore regular checks are still essential even if you are avoiding these risk factors.