Oral cancer is a serious and fatal disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Oral cancer is cancer that starts in the mouth and spreads to the oropharynx (throat). According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, one person in the United States dies from oral cancer every hour. Oral cancer is curable if detected and treated early. This is very common among people over the age of 40. Oral cancer has been compared to many types of HPV. Tobacco and alcohol use, including chewing tobacco, are significant risk factors for oral cancer.
Sores, lumps, or rough areas in the mouth are all signs of mouth or throat cancer. It is also possible to have trouble swallowing food or moving the tongue or jaw. There are always no signs or symptoms in the early stages. Gum disease is linked to an increased risk of oral cancer. Since tobacco and alcohol are risk factors for mouth cancer, smokers and heavy drinkers should visit the dentist regularly. Any early warning signs can be seen by the dentist.
If cancer progresses, a person can experience the following symptoms:
•Red and white patches visible on the mouth/tongue lining
•In the mouth, there is pain, bleeding, or numbness
•infected mouth ulcers that don't recover
•the appearance of a lump or gum thickening
•teeth that are loose for no apparent cause
•dentures that don't suit well
•tenderness in the jaw
•a sore throat or a feeling that something is stuck in your throat
•a squeaky voice
•problems chewing or swallowing
•inability to move the tongue or jaw
Any of these signs does not necessarily indicate that a person has mouth cancer, but it is best to consult a doctor for clarification and early detection.
There are many myths associated with oral cancer, so it's important to stay educated and mindful of these misconceptions. Here are some oral cancer facts and myths:
MYTH 1: Children have the lowest risk of oral cancer.
Many people claim that oral cancer only affects the elderly. Cancer has no regard for age; it is caused by an etiological agent and can strike at any age. Tobacco is consumed by people of all ages, just as cancer can strike everyone at any age.
MYTH 2: Smoking is the only source of oral cancer.
Fact: Oral cancer is caused by six “S” factors: smoking (including chewing tobacco), alcohol, sharp teeth (which predispose a person to chronic mucosal trauma), spices, sexually transmitted diseases (HPV, HIV), and syndromes (Genetic diseases)
MYTH 3: I don't have any discomfort, so I don't need to be concerned.
Fact: Cancerous lesions do not always cause pain. Regular screenings are extremely important, particularly if you are addicted to smoking in any way.
MYTH 4: I can only be in danger if it runs in my family.
Fact: If you have a family history of oral cancer, it is critical to get screened regularly, as family history plays an important role. Oral cancers are usually not hereditary and are caused by tobacco use; hence, abstaining from tobacco use will reduce the risk of developing oral cancer.
MYTH 4: It is possible to drink alcohol.
Fact: The commensal bacteria in our mouth have been shown to transform alcohol into toxic aldehydes. Oral cancer is more likely to develop when tobacco is associated with regular alcohol intake.
Oral cancer must be detected early to be fully cured. Regular oral cancer screenings can aid in the early detection of the disease and increase the likelihood of successful treatment. Myths make it more difficult to diagnose illnesses and cause delays in diagnosis and care. If you have any questions about the signs and symptoms, get checked to be certain.
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