Signs of oral cancer - Southampton Aesthetic Dentistry

Signs of oral cancer

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Oral cancer is not as common as some other types of cancer in the United States, but it still affects a significant number of people. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 54,010 new cases of oral and oropharyngeal cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2021. The incidence of oral cancer has been on the rise in recent years, particularly among younger adults who are not traditional risk factors. However, early detection and prompt treatment can lead to better outcomes, underscoring the importance of regular dental check-ups and oral cancer screenings.

Oral cancer is a type of cancer that can affect any part of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, and roof or floor of the mouth. It can develop from the cells that line the mouth and can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. Symptoms of oral cancer can include persistent mouth sores, pain or difficulty swallowing, and changes in the color or texture of the mouth tissues. It’s important to seek prompt medical attention if any symptoms of oral cancer are present, as early detection and treatment can improve outcomes.

What are the most frequent signs of oral cancer

Here are some signs of oral cancer that can be detected through an oral cancer screening during a dental examination:

  • Sores or lesions in the mouth that don’t heal within two weeks.
  • Persistent pain in the mouth or throat.
  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking.
  • Lumps or thickening of the mouth tissues.
  • Red or white patches in the mouth.
  • Changes in the color or texture of the mouth tissues.
  • Numbness or tingling in the mouth or lips.
  • Loose teeth or changes in dental alignment.

How can oral cancer be treated?

The efficiency of oral cancer treatment on initial stages is generally good, as early detection and treatment can lead to a higher chance of successful outcomes. In the early stages, oral cancer is more likely to be localized and can be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy. These treatments have a higher success rate when the cancer is caught early, before it has spread to other parts of the body. Therefore, it’s important to seek prompt medical attention if any signs or symptoms of oral cancer are present.

Oral cancer treatment can vary depending on the stage and location of the cancer. Here are some common means of oral cancer treatment:

  • Surgery: Surgery is often the first treatment option for oral cancer. This may involve removing the cancerous cells or tissue, as well as nearby lymph nodes if necessary.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. It may be used alone or in combination with surgery to treat oral cancer.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be used alone or in combination with surgery and/or radiation therapy to treat oral cancer.
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is a newer type of cancer treatment that helps the immune system fight cancer cells. It may be used alone or in combination with other treatments to treat oral cancer.
  • Targeted therapy: Targeted therapy uses drugs that specifically target cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. It may be used alone or in combination with other treatments to treat oral cancer.

Southampton Aesthetic Dentistry in Southampton, PA, offers top-quality equipment and experienced dental specialists who can perform an oral cancer screening during a dental exam. This may include the use of X-rays or other imaging techniques to detect any abnormalities or signs of oral cancer. If any signs of oral cancer are detected, prompt medical attention and treatment can help improve outcomes.

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