Also called oral cavity cancer, oral cancer occurs in the tissues of the throat or mouth. It is part of a collection of cancers referred to as neck and head cancers. Oral cancer often develops from the squamous cells, which are flat and found in the outer part of the epidermis. Phillip Chien DDS provides professional diagnostic and treatment services for oral cancer.
Oral cancer signs and symptoms are sores in the mouth or lips that do not heal and a lump inside the mouth. Also, you may feel ear pain and difficulty swallowing. Without early diagnosis and treatment of oral cavity cancer, you become susceptible to loss of taste and persistent difficulty in eating. If you cannot eat normally, you will lose weight, and your immune system and body will weaken because of poor nutrition.
Also, the cancerous cells affecting your oral cavity can spread to other areas of the head and neck. Moreover, you are at risk of death because oral cancer is often deadly. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the disease kills at least 24 Americans every 24 hours.
Below are common ways you can prevent oral cancer.
- Stop or limit tobacco use
The Mouth Cancer Foundation established that nearly 90% of people with oral cavity cancer smoke or chew tobacco frequently or excessively. Furthermore, that organization established that a smoker is about six times more likely to suffer from oral cancer than a non-smoker.
Chewing or smoking tobacco exposes the tissues of your throat, cheeks, lips, and gums to carcinogenic chemicals. These chemicals often cause cell changes and can trigger oral cancer.
- Limit intake of alcohol
If you drink alcohol and smoke regularly, it becomes much easier for you to get oral cancer. Because alcohol is absorbent, it can promote the entry of carcinogenic chemicals from tobacco chewing or smoking into the mouth and throat cells. Exposure of the mouth and throat cells to carcinogenic chemicals will alter their properties and function.
- Practice safe sex
Safe sex practices can involve wearing a condom. They can protect you against STIs and STDs when engaging in sexual intercourse. One common sexually transmitted infection is human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. This viral infection is associated with the growth of warts in different parts of the body.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection can affect your mouth and throat, leading to oropharyngeal cancer or cancers of the oropharynx. According to the CDC, more than 65% of cases of oropharyngeal cancers in America result from HPV.
- Avoid unsafe levels of sun exposure
Prolonged exposure to intense rays of the sun often damages the lip area and can lead to oral cancer.
You are prone to oral cancer if you have an outdoor job or were exposed to excessive sun’s UV rays from an early age. Other factors, such as poor diet, genetics, or lack of regular dental exams, can also increase your risk of oral cancer. For example, if you regularly go to your dentist for dental examinations, it is possible to detect and address oral issues early.
Contact Sunshine Dental, Inc today to book an appointment for professional oral cancer diagnosis and treatment.