Mouth Cancer

Mouth cancer affects different parts including the cheeks, tongue, lips, throat, floor of the mouth, sinuses, and the hard and soft palate as well as the gums. When uncontrollable growth of cells invade the mouthparts, it can cause a lot of damages and if not diagnosed and treated early, it can be life threatening. Mouth cancer is sometimes referred to as oral cancer and manifests as a sore or cells growth in the mouth, which does not go away.

What are the symptoms of mouth cancer?

There are many signs and symptoms of oral cancer and the most common ones are swelling or thickening of the skin lining of mouth. A patient suffering from this growth has lumps or bumps in the mouth. In addition, the person can develop rough spots or crust and the lips are eroded. Moreover, there is development of patches in the mouth, which are velvety white, speckled with white and red spots, or they may appear red.

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Other signs, which are associated with oral cancer, are unexplained bleeding in mouth. Similarly, if you suffer from mouth cancer, you may experience loose teeth, poorly fitting dentures, tongue pain, jaw pain and stiffness as well as pain when chewing and swallowing. If you have unexplained numbness coupled with loss of feeling and tenderness in areas like the face, neck or mouth, you could be suffering from oral cancer.

The growth may also manifest as persistent sores around the neck, mouth and face often bleeding easily and do not heal within 2 weeks. You may also have a feeling that there is something caught or trapped in the back of the throat. Chronic sore throat and hoarseness as well as change in voice may be other signs for oral cancer. People suffering oral cancerous growth may also experience dramatic weight loss.

If you notice any or several of these signs, you should see your dentist or a healthcare expert to undergo close examination of the condition. If the signs persist for sometime (more than 2 weeks) without subsiding, you also need to visit a dentist. The doctor may investigate the possibility of other causes such as an infection on the mouth or throat.

Causes of oral cancer

Mouth cancer occurs when there is mutation or change in DNA composition of the mouth cells. The mutation allows cancerous cells to grow and divide thus multiplying and the healthy cells begin to die. When the mouth cancerous cells accumulate, they can form a tumor. The cells can spread to other parts of the mouth, face, neck and throat.

Oral cancer growth begin in the squamous cells, which are flat, thin cells that line the lips in your mouth. The cause of mutation of the cells is not clearly understood but there are factors, which have been identified by doctors as risk factors, which increase the possibility of suffering this condition.  People who smoke cigars, pipes, cigarettes and other tobacco products increases the risk of suffering oral cancer by six times than people who do not smoke.

In addition, smokeless tobacco use such as use of snuff, dip or chewing of tobacco products increases the risk of suffering oral cancer by 50 times than people who do use these products. In addition, excessive consumption of alcohol also increases the risk by six times than non-alcoholic drinkers.

There is also family history in development of oral cancer. People of blood relations may develop mouth cancer than other people. If members of your family have shown a tendency to suffer cancerous growth or oral cancer, then there is high possibility that you may also suffer from the condition.

If you have excessive exposure to sun at a young age, you are also at a higher risk of suffering oral cancer. Men are twice like to develop oral cancer than women and this is according to American Cancer Society. In 2008, an estimated 35,000 people were diagnosed with oral cancer in the U.S.

Treatment of mouth cancer

The treatment of oral cancer takes the same form as other cancer treatment. You may undergo surgery to remove the growth. A radiation therapy may be applied to destroy the cancerous cells. In addition, chemotherapy with use of drugs may be administered to destroy the cells. In most cases, the treatment will depend on location of the growth as well as the stage of development.

Other factors considered are the overall health and personal preferences of the patient. It is essential that you discuss the option of treatment with your doctor. A surgery is often done to cut the tumor and also part of the healthy cells, which surround the growth area. If the cancers are small, minor surgery may be performed to remove the growths.

In case of large tumors, a portion of your tongue or jawbone may be removed and this means that they require procedures that are more extensive. In radiation therapy, high-energy beams are used to destroy the cancer cells. This method is applicable if you have early stage oral cancer. This treatment may also be applied after you have had a surgery. Chemotherapy drugs may be administered alone or in combination with radiation therapy or after you have had a surgery.

Mouth Cancer Pictures


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