All About Oral Cancer

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By Dr. Prasad, Dentistry

Oral cancer is defined as an uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells in the mouth; the condition first manifests as sores or abnormal growths in the mouth. Oral cancers also include cancers of the cheeks and the tongue. These cancers may also occur in the soft tissues of the mouth such as the sinuses, throat and the soft palate inside the mouth.

The symptoms of oral cancer are:

  1. Red or white colored patches develop in the mouth.
  2. There may be swelling, lumps and rough spots inside the mouth.
  3. You may experience numbness and pain in the neck and the mouth.
  4. Bleeding from the mouth.
  5. Sore throat.
  6. You may have difficulties in swallowing food and moving your tongue.
  7. You may experience drastic weight loss.

The exact cause of oral cancer is not known. However, there are certain risk factors that can lead to oral cancer, which are:

  1. Excessive alcohol consumption.
  2. Smoking cigarettes or cigars increases the chances of oral cancer as the tobacco and the tar constrict the blood vessels, thus impairing blood circulation.
  3. Long standing exposure to the sun.
  4. Genetic causes such as a history of cancer in the family.

The treatment options for oral cancer include chemotherapy (targeting and treating the cancerous cells with the help of chemicals and medications), radiation therapy (targeting cancer cells with radiations) and surgery.

Prevent Oral Cancer-
Some steps which can help prevent oral cancer to a certain degree are:

  1. Quit smoking immediately.
  2. Limit consumption of alcohol.
  3. Eat a well- balanced diet that provides proper nourishment to your body.