When most people think about oral hygiene, the worst thing that they can imagine is a root canal. While a root canal can indeed be very painful and annoying, there are much worse problems that you can experience with respects to your oral health. Oral cancer is a problem that is diagnosed in approximately thirty thousand Americans per year. In this article, well examine oral cancer so that you can get a better idea of what it is and how you can avoid it.
Oral cancer is a type of cancer that is relatively common. Eight thousand Americans die per year as a result of oral cancer complications so its important to know all that you can about the disease. Luckily, many of the risk factors for oral cancer are preventable, and by lifestyle changes, you can drastically decrease your risk of becoming afflicted. Studies have shown that approximately three out of every four cases of oral cancer are caused by smoking or chewing tobacco. Drinking alcohol too much can also contribute to your likelihood of developing a case of oral cancer.
Another optimistic quality of oral cancer is that if it is caught early, there is a high chance that you will be able to successfully treat the problem and survive. Approximately nine out of every ten cases of oral cancer that are discovered early on can be treated successfully.
There are some symptoms that you may want to look for if you think that you are at risk of developing oral cancer. Among them are sores around the mouth and in the mouth that dont heal. Lumps may appear on the lips or inside the mouth, and patches that are white or red in color may also be present. Bleeding inside the mouth is another symptom that may denote a case of oral cancer, and a sore throat that doesnt go away is another indication.
When it comes to treating oral cancer, there are a variety of techniques that are used. Chemotherapy is one of the more commonly used techniques, involving anti-cancer drugs that cause the cancer cells to be unable to replicate themselves. If you have a small oral tumor, doctors may recommend that you undergo radiation therapy in order to destroy the cancer.
More developed cases of oral cancer may require surgery in order to remove them. After surgery for oral cancer, the affected individual may be required to visit a speech therapist in order to accommodate for the changes that were made to the mouth and throat.
Now that you know a little more about the risks of oral cancer, you know the things that you can do to decrease your chances of developing the deadly disease. You are responsible for your own health and if you can simply avoid the temptations of tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption, you can sufficiently safeguard yourself against the disease to some degree. If you think you are at risk for developing the cancer, you should visit your doctor regularly in order to get an exam performed to ensure that you are safe.