Early symptoms of Oral Cancer
Any cancer is to be dreaded for the kinds of consequences it has on the body. Cancer is the abnormality of the body cells so that their growth is uncontrollable. The cells are harmful to the surrounding tissues and can cause immense damage. When it comes to oral cancer, the uncontrollable growth of cells happens in the mouth. It is considered oral cancer if it occurs anywhere in the mouth. This includes the tongue, throat, lips, gums, cheeks, the hard palate, and the floor of the mouth. Any such indications of a cancerous growth should merit an oral cancer screening in Elmhurst as early as possible.
What Causes Oral Cancer?
Like any other type of cancer, oral cancer happens as an anomaly in the cell structure. The cells in the mouth usually develop mutations in their DNA. When these mutations occur, the cells start multiplying uncontrollably. This happens at the expense of healthy cells, which die as the cancerous cells multiply. In time, the area develops a tumor, which quickly spreads cancer in the surrounding area.
What Are the Risk Factors for Oral Cancer?
Everyone is susceptible to oral cancer. Both kids and adults can have oral cancer, depending on the cause thereof. However, more men over age 50 have the highest risk of getting oral cancer. Some of the risks that pose threats of this condition include the following:
- Smoking – even though manufacturers of cigarettes, pipe smokes, and cigar warn users of the risk of cancer, most do not heed to the caution. Smoking increases the risk of oral cancer by up to 6 times. More smokers succumb to oral cancer than nonsmokers.
- Tobacco usage – if you are a smokeless tobacco user, you still have a higher risk of getting oral cancer. This includes snuffing or chewing tobacco.
- Alcohol usage – excessive consumption of alcohol is damaging to one’s health. More so, it increases the risk of cancer of the mouth. Nondrinkers of alcohol are less likely to get mouth cancer than drinkers. Still, the risks of frequent alcohol consumers are lower than that of tobacco. However, when the two are combined, the risks increase dramatically.
- Marijuana smoking – excessive use of marijuana will affect not only your overall health but also increase your risk of mouth cancer.
- Genetics – when cancer runs in the family, your chances of getting it are high, even though you are not a smoker or drinker.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) – a certain type of HPV that is sexually transmitted through oral sex, can cause oral cancer.
What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
Detecting cancer at its early stages is the best chance patients have at fighting the diseases. For most of mouth cancer treatment in Elmhurst, NY, cancer can completely be eliminated if it was detected at an early stage. Luckily, you can find the best dentist in Elmhurst, NY, to help with the screening processes for the identification of overgrown cancerous cells in your mouth. Some of the early symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Swellings and lumps – the cancerous cells in the mouth often form bumps and rough spots that are out of the ordinary. The swellings indicate a growth that could be cancerous. However, you will never really know unless you go for oral cancer screening near you.
- Red and white patches in the mouth – mouth sores that do not go away can indicate different oral problems, including oral cancer. The cancerous cells result in the formation of white patches with a red ring on the outside. The mouth sores can be painful and uncomfortable, especially when eating.
- Soreness in the back of the throat – while a sore throat can result from many things, including tonsillitis, oral cancer can also manifest this way. Often, patients report having a feeling of something stuck in the back of the throat.
- Hoarseness of the voice – it is not everyone that has a hoarse voice, suffers from cancer. However, oral cancer can lead to changes in voice, including, hoarseness, slurred speech, along with chronic sore throat.
- Rough spots on the lips – the lips can get charred from dehydration on a very hot day. However, when oral cancer starts to manifest, one of the early symptoms includes rough spots on the lips. You could notice crusts, lumps, eroded areas, or even unexplained bleeding.