Mouth or oral cancer accounts for 2% of cancer diagnoses in the United States, annually. 61 percent of people diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than 5 decades. If it comes to any kind of cancer, early detection is the best way to overcome it. Since mouth cancer is so easily felt and visible, it’s among the simplest types of cancer to detect.
What Do You Need to Be Aware of?
Lesions — Should you have any lesions in your mouth (white or red ) for more than two weeks, then you should ask a physician about assessing them, and possibly doing a biopsy. Leukoplakia (white lesions) are not as likely to be or become cancerous than erythroplakia (red lesions), although reddish lesions are much more common.
Lumps or Growths — any thickening of cells in your mouth should raise red flags. If there are these and a problem swallowing, jaw pain, numbness in the tongue or some other unusual feeling or pain, then you should seek advice from your physician.
Any time you go to the dentist you should ask them to perform a comprehensive examination of your neck and head. Especially if you’re a smoker.
Tobacco — Many oral cancers can be traced back to tobacco use, heavy alcohol use, or a combination of the two.
HPV — The STI HPV (human papillomavirus), especially type 16a type connected with oral cancer diagnoses.
Age — The older you get, the greater your risk of developing mouth or oral cancer. It’s particularly common in people over age 40.
Sun Exposure — sunburns or simply excessive exposure to sunlight can lead to lip cancer.
Diet — If your diet is inadequate in fruit and veg this may be a cause of developing oral cancer.