Oral cancer refers to cancerous conditions for developing in any part of your oral cavity. Cancers occurring on the inside of your mouth are sometimes referred to as oral cavity cancer. Oral cancer is one of the various types of cancers grouped as head and neck cancers. All head, neck, and oral cavity cancers receive similar oral cancer treatment in Easley, SC.
Squamous cell carcinoma is the name given to most oral cancers. When you visit the dental office in Easley for your routine dental exam and cleaning, the dentist also performs oral cancer screening of your mouth, head, neck, and throat. The dentist looks for symptoms such as swelling in your neck, lumps on your cheeks, challenges when moving your jaw or tongue or when swallowing or chewing, and persistent bad breath.
Oral cancer appears as white or red patches on the gums, lining of your mouth, and tonsils. The screening performed by the dentist is a preventive measure to confirm you don’t have any abnormal precancerous or cancerous lesions in your mouth that might aggravate into a severe condition.
It is unclear what causes mutations in the squamous cells leading to oral cancer. However, medical practitioners have identified the factors that increase the risks of oral cancer. Some oral cancer-causing substances include:
No proven methods are available to prevent oral cancer. However, you can reduce your risks of this condition by following the below-mentioned recommendations.
If you are a tobacco user, consider stopping the habit immediately. Using tobacco in any manner endangers the squamous cells in your mouth to hazardous cancer-causing chemicals.
Chronic excessive consumption of alcohol irritates the cells in your mouth, making them susceptible to oral cancer. Exercising caution to consume alcohol in moderation is a preventive technique you can adopt to reduce your risks of oral cancer.
Protecting your skin and lips from sunlight or staying in the shade whenever possible is also beneficial. For example, you can use a broad-rimmed hat, effectively shading your entire face and mouth, besides applying sunscreen and lip balm as protection against sunlight.
Visit your dentist regularly for six-monthly exams and cleanings. During your appointment, request the dentist to inspect your entire mouth for abnormal areas indicating oral cancer or precancerous lesions.
Every year over 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer, with men more likely to develop the condition than women. Records available over the past three decades indicate the fatality rate of cancer has decreased. However, it doesn’t mean oral cancer is safe and better than other types of cancers. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment contribute significantly to improving your chances of survival. However, if you remain persistent with your habits and neglect the preventive care suggested, chances of you joining the number of people succumbing to this disease remain. Therefore you must adopt preventive care measures and get yourself examined every six months by your dentist.
Squamous cell carcinoma tends to spread quickly like most cancers if they are not detected and treated promptly. If your dentist discovers any unusual growths in your mouth, they will likely refer you to a professional specializing in oncology for further evaluation. You may require a biopsy to test whether you have cancer cells in your mouth or any other tests recommended by the specialist.
Any examinations after detecting abnormal growths in your mouth are not performed by the emergency dentist in Easley. Instead, an oncology specialist takes over your diagnosis and recommends treatments if they detect cancerous cells in your mouth.
If you are exposed to the risks of oral cancer, the optimal method for you to remain in control over the situation is to maintain excellent dental hygiene and visit your dentist every six months without exceptions to receive the preventive care screenings they provide.
You must also give up or limit the harmful habits that irritate your mouth’s cells that may enhance your risks of oral cancer. Investing in sun care products also proves beneficial to control this devastating disease, potentially fatal if not cared for appropriately.