Oral Cancer (Mouth Cancer)

Oral cancer, also called mouth cancer, is a term used to refer to any form of malignant tumor located in the mouth. It is among the cancers of the upper aerodigestive tract. Cancer of the buccal mucosa (the lining of the cheeks and the back of the lips) is a form of oral malignant tumor, but rare in the United States compared with carcinomas of the tongue or floor of the mouth. Regardless of the form, early treatment is vital to avoid fetal complications. For additional information please oral cancer treatment.

Ulcers, lumps, difficulty swallowing are common warning signs of mouth cancer that require immediate medical attention. However, these indications do not necessarily mean you have the disease; it is to your dentist or health professional to proceed to other diagnostic procedures to rule out or confirm the diagnosis. For additional information, please oral cancer signs and symptoms.

Human Mouth

The oral cavity, also called buccal cavity, is a region of the human anatomy which plays different roles in both the respiratory and digestive functions. It is responsible for phonation, tasting, chewing and swallowing. The buccal cavity is located just below the nasal cavity; its top is formed the palatine bone, and the lower part mandible (also called jawbone, or inferior maxillary bone), the largest, strongest and lowest bone in the face. At the orifice of the oral cavity include the lips, muscular structures lined with a thin membranous skin. They help close the buccal cavity during chewing to keep food and liquids within the mouth. In addition, the lips help to move food during chewing, facilitate the articulation of words, and others.

Within the oral cavity include the teeth which are located in the upper and lower jaws, forming the dental arches. The outer side walls of the oral cavity are formed by skin and muscles of the cheeks, and the mouth floor which consists of muscle structures of the tongue, the sublingual mucosa and muscles. The buccal cavity includes many other anatomical structures, all of which may be the site of a cancer: gums, mucous membranes, tonsils, salivary glands…

Oral Cancer Indication

Oral cancer usually develops in the mucosa. The tumor often begins with the appearance of a pale, dark, or discolored ulcer, swelling or persistent irritation in the mouth that would not go away. Usually there is only one. In its most common form, it is an ulceration which can be painless at first, and then starts causing a burning sensation as the tumor progresses – see oral cancer symptoms for more info. Thus, the importance of seeing a health professional if you experience any sore in the mouth that has not healed after two weeks.

Oral cancer can affect any one, but mostly men over 40, especially more than 55 years. It is less common in North America. In the United States, about 39,500 people will be diagnosed with mouth cancer or oropharyngeal cancer (the 11th most common cancer worldwide) in 2015, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Worldwide, it is estimated that more than 300,000 new cases of lip and oral cavity cancer were diagnosed in 2012. Incidence rates vary from a geographic area to another. Please see oral cancer statistics for additional information.

Mouth cancer frequency has increased in recent decades, in all rich countries due to alcohol and tobacco use. Yet, oral cancer is one of the easiest cancers to prevent by avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and early precancerous stage diagnosis.

Unfortunately, more people die from oral cancer than with cervical cancerHodgkin’s lymphoma, or melanoma. This is so because the tumor is often diagnosed when it is already at an advanced stage where treatments are barley effective – for additional information please oral cancer treatment. Early diagnosis is the most effective way to effectively treat mouth cancer, when the tumor is in its precancerous stage.



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  4. Oral Cancer Facts: The Oral Cancer Foundation
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