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Oral Cancer; Symptoms And Causes

According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology (1), around 48, 330 Americans were likely to be diagnosed with either oral or pharyngeal cancer a few years back, and around 9570 deaths were estimated. The death rate though, has shown as decreasing trend thankfully, because of the developments in science and technology and of course because of prompt treatment, not to mention early detection.
This year, around 51,000 Americans are likely to be diagnosed with oral cancer.

These figures show how severe the issue of oral cancer has been over the past few years. And the issue has evidently only been progressing at a rapid rate.
However, the good news is that with timely detection and prompt cure measures, oral cancer can be treated.
Nowadays many dentists and hospitals offer early cancer detection check-ups and cancer screening services with scheduled dental cleaning. This makes the job all the more easy for you. All you need to do is type in “oral cancer screening near me” and you’ll be able to see all your close options. Hence, the entire issue of oral cancer can be controlled in just a click.

Mouth cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, including the tongue, the lips, the inner side of the cheeks, the gums, the tonsils, the salivary glands, the floor and roof of the mouth. It is often categorized as part of head and neck cancers and is also treated in the same way.

It is something that affects both men and women, however, the risk is found to be twice as high among men, than it is in women. On the bright side though, renowned Summerlin dentist Dr. Richard Racanelli of Stunning Smiles of Las Vegas says that there are ways to reduce the risk in men. He always advise his patients on how to steer clear of cancer.

Before we get in to the causes and symptoms of oral cancer, let’s quickly go through what exactly cancer is.

What is oral cancer?

Cancer is basically an uncontrollable and sometimes rapid growth of cells that are cancerous, that is they invade surrounding cells and cause damage to the tissues. Oral cancer is simply the kind of cancer that grows in the mouth.

What are the signs and symptoms of oral cancer?

During the early stages there are often no symptoms at all. Dr. Richard Racanelli says that that’s precisely why smokers and drinkers need to get their mouth checked regularly for any possible signs. To ask Dr. Racanelli a question about oral cancel screening near me, please click here.

Other than that the signs and symptoms may actually vary from one person to another. Nevertheless, cancer is usually seen in the form of mouth sores and ulcers or pain that simply won’t go away.

Oral cancer may also appear in the form of white patches or red patches on the gums or tonsils or the inner lining of the mouth.

Some other common and generic symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Swellings or unexplained thickening in the mouth that persists for more than 3 weeks

  • Lumps, bumps, rough spots or other kinds of eroded areas in the mouth, particularly in the gums or lips.

  • Appearance of white or red or speckled patches in the mouth

  • Bleeding for no particular reason

  • Sores on the mouth or even the face or neck that remain persistent for more than 2 weeks without healing and sometimes bleeding

  • The feeling that something like a lump is caught in the back of the throat along with soreness

  • Loss of feeling or numbness of any part of the mouth, face or neck for no particular reason

  • Unexplained and persistent pain on any part of the face, mouth or neck

  • Difficulty in swallowing or chewing and sometimes speaking and moving the jaw or tongue

  • Unfitting teeth and dentures

  • Chronic sore throat and hoarseness of the voice

  • Drastic weight loss

  • Pain in the ears but without loss of hearing

  • Loose teeth for no apparent reasons

  • Persistent bad breath

It is important to note that the presence of any of these symptoms may not necessarily mean that the person has cancer. However, it could necessitate an immediate check-up so as to be prepared and to treat the condition in a timely manner.
If you or anyone you know has one or more of these symptoms then it would be good idea to query Google with “oral cancer screening near me” and get checked as soon as possible.

What are the causes of oral cancer?

The exact causes are yet to be explored, however scientific studies have proved that certain damages or mutations in the genetic code that is in charge of the growth and death of cells, often cause cancer.

From a general perspective, there are several factors that commonly increase the risk of developing oral cancer. They are:

  • Consumption of excessive alcohol – People who drink excessively on a regular basis are more likely to develop oral cancer. The risk is even higher among people who smoke or use tobacco along with drinking.
  • Smoking – As we all know, smoking anything with tobacco in it, such as cigarettes, cigars or pipes can cause cancer. Chewing tobacco can also cause cancer.
  • Excessive exposure to the sun – Too much exposure to the sun can cause cancer to the lips.
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – HPV related cancers often appear at the back of the throat, on the tonsils or at the base of the tongue. There has been an increasing trend in these types of cancers lately.

Apart from these, generally people older than around 45 have an increased risk of developing the condition. Additionally, people who already may have other types of head and neck cancers may also be at a higher risk or oral cancer.

Fortunately, cancers of the mouth are one of the most preventable types of cancers in general. All you need to do is keep an eye on the above symptom, Google up “oral cancer screening near me” and consult a doctor.

Other than that, you can always practice preventive measures like elimination of smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, having regular and good oral hygiene habits and by eating a well-rounded balanced diet. You can also wear enough SPF every day to prevent cancers caused by sun exposure as well.

To review Dr. Racanelli’s review on Google and Yelp, please click here. We are proud to have over 700+ 5 star reviews from very happy patients that we have helped to date.