Mouth Cancer

Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, is a malignancy that can develop throughout the region of the mouth and throat: on the lips, the tongue, the gums, in the cheeks, palate bone or soft palate, and the base of the tongue. However, in 90% cases the tumor grows in the oral mucosa, the mucous membrane lining the inside of the mouth. Oral cancer is more common in people aged over 50, but can affect younger individuals as well.

Although mouth cancer is one of the most preventable cancers, more people die of it than cervicalcancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, or melanoma. This is because it is often diagnosed when it is already atan advanced stage. Early diagnosis is the most effective way to treat cancer of the mouth.

Mouth Cancer Causes and Risk Factors
There is no unique mouth cancer cause, but several factors are known to increase the risk of developing it: smoking, tobacco use (chewing, snuffing…), excessive alcohol consumption, excessiveexposure of the lips to the sun and chewing areca (betel). The risk of mouth cancer is even higherwhen people practice several or all of these bad habits.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection also increases the risk of having mouth cancer. People whohave had cancer of the head and neck are also at higher of developing the disease. But not all mouth cancer causes are known. For instance, some people diagnosed with the tumor despite the absence of these risk factors.

Mouth Cancer Symptoms and Complications 

Mouth cancer symptoms tend to begin on the lateral sides of the tongue, floor or palate (the roof of the mouth) of the mouth. Although these symptoms below are not 100% attributed to mouth cancer, they are warning flag which should be taken seriously and reported to a health care professional without delay:

  • Loose teeth
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Occasional bad breath
  • Persistent husky, grating voice(hoarsely)
  • White or red patches in the mouth
  • Occurrence of a tumor in the mouth or neck
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Thickening of the cheek wall
  • Numbness of the mouth or face
  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
  • Bleeding or pain in the mouth or on the lips
  • Flat sclerosis or hardening on the outer portion of the lower lip
  • Ulcers or sores in the mouth that do not heal within two weeks
  • Persistent outgrowth in the mouth that looks like a wart.

Oral cancer can be fetal when discovered at advanced stage. It is therefore crucial to seek medical care if any of the mouth cancer symptoms mentioned above is noticed. They do not always indicate the presence of the cancer, but there is a possibility. The earlier the tumor is diagnosed the better is the survival or healing chance.

                                                         Mouth Cancer Treatment

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