Thursday, December 9th, 2010 | Uncategorized | No Comments
Cancer is an abnormal growth of new body cells that invade surrounding tissue and move to new body sites. Malignant cancers are injurious to our bodies (causing harmful and even lethal tumors). Oral cancer is one that occurs in or on the mouth. At least 12,000 Americans die from oral cancer annually according to the National Centers for Disease Control, and more than 30,000 new cases are diagnosed annually. It causes more deaths every year than malignant melanoma of the skin or cervical cancer in women!
Oral cancers have many causes, most of which are associated with lifestyle choices such as smoking and chewing tobacco, using alcohol excessively, and eating nutrient-deficient diets. Other causes include infections, other cancers, and exposures to pollutants. Thus, if you are a smoker or chewer, if you use alcohol excessively, if you eat a nutrient-poor diet, if you have had mouth infections, and/or you have been exposed to air, water or ground pollutants, you could be at risk for oral cancer.
Symptoms of oral cancer include:
- A bleeding tooth socket or sore that does not heal
- A bump, lump, growth, ulcer, swelling or thickening in the soft oral tissues
- A blue or white patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth
- A browning discoloration along the border of the lip
- Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
- Loosening of the teeth or pain around the teeth or jaw
- Pain in the mouth, ear, or face near the mouth
- Numbness or discomfort of the tongue or other areas of the mouth
- A change in texture and/or unusual firmness of the tongue
- A lump or mass in the neck
- A sore throat angelscamp.org or feeling that something is stuck in the throat
- Voice changes / hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing, swallowing, opening the mouth or moving the tongue or jaws
- A burning sensation in the mouth or throat
- Unintentional weight loss
Oral cancer can be cured. The odds of curing oral cancer are very good if caught early. As many as 80 percent of oral cancer deaths could be prevented by early recognition of the disease. The smaller the cancer, the better the chances of a cure. Unfortunately, too many people come forward too late. More than 60 percent of the tumors are detected when the disease is too advanced for treatment to be effective. This is an excellent reason for you to be aware of the symptoms and causes listed above and to contact Dr. Kotsianas immediately for a diagnosis if you suspect you might have oral cancer.
Click here for more information about oral and other cancers.
*Dr. Kotsianas operates this website for his patients” benefit. He and his staff strive to keep the information contained on this site current and accurate. Although the general information on this site relates to dental topics, none of it substitutes for personal and professional dental advice. Any questions regarding your dental health should be directed to Dr. Kotsianas and his professional staff.