Preventive Crystal River dental care is essential for your oral health, especially if you have a family history of oral cancer. Oral cancer or mouth cancer is when a tumor develops in any part of your mouth. It could form in your lips, gums, the roof of your mouth, the insides of your cheeks, or the surface of your tongue. A study published in the International Journal of Cancer shows that your risk of acquiring oral and pharyngeal cancer increases if you have a family member who’s had it.
What Do You Know About Oral Cancer?
How Many People Suffer From Oral Cancer?The most recent statistics of the oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers for this year according to the American Cancer Society are as follows:
- Around 54,000 new cases of oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer have been recorded in 2022
- An estimated 11,230 deaths are caused by an oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer
How Is Oral Cancer Detected?It’s essential to see your dentist bi-annually so they can look out for early signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth. Oral cancer screening aims to detect mouth cancer before they get a chance to metastasize. During an oral exam, your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth. Some may order further tests to check for abnormal cells.
What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?Some of the symptoms of mouth cancer are the following:
- Sore or swelling in your lips that won’t heal
- Speech changes
- Difficulty or pain when swallowing
- A lump in your neck
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding in your mouth
- Unexplained weight loss
- Red or white patches in your gums, tongue, or any part of your mouth
Why Is Oral Cancer Screening Done?The main goal of this comprehensive screening test is to identify lesions that could potentially lead to mouth cancer. Early detection means early treatment. The earlier these lesions are removed, the higher the chances you’ll be cured and become cancer free. If you have a high risk of developing oral cancer, you should have yourself screened regularly. Some of the factors that increase your risk of oral cancer are the following:
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Heavy alcohol use
- History of oral cancer
- Increased risk of sun exposure