In our day and age, one of the few diseases left that seem to be above treatment is cancer. In Hungary, oral cancer is the tenth most common form of cancer, and this is reflected on the rest of the world as well. The good news is 90% of all oral cancers are curable, if they are discovered in time. The problem is that it is rarely diagnosed in time. This is why going to screenings is so important, and to be educated about the symptoms of oral cancer, which we hope to provide below.
To keep it simple, we will be using the term cancer to refer to malignant, carcinogenic tumors growing in or another type of tissue in the body. In the UK, the cancer rate has grown to 50 times the size it used to be in the past twenty years. Oral cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the world, and is the 8th most common one, and it occurs most frequently in Hungary. Men are 4 times more likely to develop it than women.
You can do a lot to prevent the formation of oral cancer by taking some ismple, yet effective steps. Eat a healthy and varied diet first and foremost. Protect youself from direct sunlight, especially if you are not used to it. Use not only sun cream, but alsos oem protection for your lips, too! If you ahve some bad habits, you should kick them, or at least limit the amount of alcohol you drink and cigarettes you smoke. The bets thing to do is to look for it. Check yourself in front aof a mirror, to see if your tongue, cheek lining ro any other part of your body has changed, especilaly growths and swellings are suspect. Going to screenings is also vital; if you are over 20, go every three years or so, if you are above 40, going once a year is what the doctors advise.
Until recently, only the elderly were affected by this horrible disease, but recently more and more young people have been found with oral cancer. This is linked with the rise of HPV in the population as well. Other factors also negatively impact the illness. Bad habits like alcohol consumption is one of the biggest triggers, but also smoking and chewing tobacco raises the likelihood of development by up to 50 times. Genetics also plays a role, and there is a predisposition to oral cancer.
Oral cancer can develop on the lips, the side of the tongue, the lining of the cheek, the gums, on the face or even down the neck as well. Here are some signs to look out for:
- White or red splotches or patches in the mouth
- Unprovoked bleeding in the oral cavity
- Pain when moving tongue or jaws
- Constant throat pain, change in voice or speech
- Pain in the ear
- A protrusion or bump on the mouth, lips or gums
- Unexplained weight loss
- Wounds and sores in the mouth that do not heal, and may or may not bleed
It is important that you keep your 6 month dentist check ups, too, because the dentist does not only look at your teeth, but also everything in your mouth, and will notice a precancerous or cancerous growth. If the dentist is fairly sure that you have oral cancer, but is not 100%, they can send you to the appropriate channels to make sure of it. It is important to wrestle with your fear of the dentist,a s 90% of oral cancers are curable without any problems if found out in time, but once this grace period is over, the survival rate falls to 50% and below!
The same well known and controversial treatments are available for oral cancer as for any other cancer. Besides radiology and chemotherapy, surgical removal of the tumor is also possible.
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