An Overview of Oral Cancer- Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Oral cancer is the cancer that occurs in any part of the mouth. It can happen in gums, lips, tongue, the inner lining of cheeks, roof of the mouth, and floor of the mouth. Oral cancer is one of the many types of cancers that take many lives every year across the globe. Some of the common signs of oral cancer include:

  • A sore on your lip or mouth which doesn’t heal
  • Loose teeth
  • Difficulty or pain while swallowing
  • White or reddish patch on the inside of the mouth
  • A growth or lump inside your mouth
  • Ear pain
  • Mouth pain

If you have experienced these symptoms persistently and they bother you for more than a week or two, it is time to see the doctor near you for proper oral screening, consultation, and diagnosis. They will investigate and find out more common symptoms and causes for the disease.

What Are the Oral Cancer Causes?

When the cells on the lips or in the mouth changes their DNA oral cancer occurs. The DNA of the cells contains instructions to tell the cell what to do. The changes tell the cell to continue growing and dividing when healthy cells would die. Accumulation of abnormal oral cancer cells can form a tumor. It is not very clear as to what causes the mutations in the cells that lead to oral cancer but medical professionals have identified some risk factors that can lead to oral cancer. Here’s a look.

  • Using tobacco in any way such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, and snuff, etc.
  • Consuming alcohol quite frequently and in large quantities.
  • Lips getting excessive exposure to the sun.
  • A sexually transmitted virus known as HPV.
  • Weak immunity system.

How to Prevent Oral Cancer?

  • One of the best ways of preventing oral cancer is to stop using tobacco in any form. If you haven’t started using it, you should better stay away from the addiction.
  • Tobacco exposes your mouth to the dangerous cancer-causing chemicals. Many people begin to consume tobacco out of peer pressure, but you must make a wise decision considering your health.
  • If you drink alcohol, you must limit its intake if you can’t leave it. Excessive alcohol consumption can put your mouth at the risk of cancer. Even if you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation on rare occasions.
  • You must prevent your lips from getting exposed to the sun. You must apply a sunscreen lip product and wear a broad-brimmed hat that effectively shades your entire face.
  • Apart from the above-mentioned precautions, you must also visit the dentist near you for routine oral exams so that the dentist can inspect your mouth for any signs of abnormality which may indicate oral cancer or precancerous changes.

How is Oral Cancer Treated?

The oral cancer treatment in Louisville differs based on the type, location, and stage of cancer at diagnosis. Here’s a look at some common methods of treatment.

  • Surgery

When the cancer is in its early stages, surgery is performed for removing the tumor along with the cancerous lymph nodes. They may also remove other tissues around the mouth and neck.

  • Radiation Therapy

The radiation therapy is another option where the doctor aims the radiation beams at the tumor once or thrice a day, five days a week, for two to eight weeks. The treatment for the advanced stages of cancer will usually combine a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

  • Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy involves treating cancer with the help of drugs. The medication is either given orally or with the help of the IV line. Though most people only need to visit the hospital during chemotherapy, others may need immediate hospitalization.

  • Targeted Therapy

The targeted therapy is another form of treatment which is effective in both the early and advanced stages of cancer. The drugs will bind the specific proteins on cancer cells and interfere with their growth.

  • Nutrition

Nutrition also plays an important role in cancer treatment. Getting suggestions from a nutritionist can help in planning a food menu that will be gentler on your throat and mouth and offer required nutrition and calories to your body.

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