Oral Cancer and you! By Dr. Danial Kalantari | Your Santa Ana Family Dentist
The dental auxiliaries are the first line of defense for early detection of oral cancer. More than half of neck and all head cancers develop in the oral cavity. The American Cancer Society estimates there is approximately 39,500 who will or have develop oral cancer in 2015. That is almost 2,500 increase since 2010. In 2010 there was around 37,000 people who were newly diagnose or were diagnose with oral cancer.
This rate increase can be from younger people using tobacco products as well as a newly recognized viral linked. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation people who were diagnose at an early stage have an 80 to 90% survival rate. It is very important to have regular dental checkups at least twice a year.
The most common risk factors for oral cancer according to Dr. Kalantari, a Santa Ana dentist, are tobacco use and alcohol consumption. Smoking and drinking increase the risk exponentially. You also have a higher risk if the consumptions is in large amounts. There is also strong direct connection with the human papilloma virus (HPV). The HPV associate with oral cancer is higher in men than in women and higher in younger adults. Patients who develop oral cancer through HPV respond to treatment very well, and have a higher survival rate than other cause by other factors, the reason is still unknown.
Signs and Symptoms
In the early stages of oral cancer patients may notice some signs but these are usually painless or non-symptomatic. Common symptoms are;
Sores in mouth that do not go away within more than 14 days
Swelling, lumps or bumps on the gums, lips or other areas in the mouth
Bleeding constantly in the mouth
Difficulty swallowing, chewing or moving of the tongue or jaw
Early signs are very difficult to detect without a thorough examination by a dental professional.
The main treatment options with people that have oral cancer are surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and newer targeted therapies. These options can be used alone or mixed combination depending on the stage and place of the tumor. Patients who are treated early have little in the way of post treatment disfigurement. Those whose cancer is caught late have to go surgical removal of the disease and may require reconstruction of their oral cavity.
You can take a step in early detection by conduction a self-exam. You can examine the floor, tongue, and the roof of your mouth, and lips, look and feel for any abnormalities. Dental exams are also very important because there might be some spots that are very difficult to see on your own. If you have any questions you can always come to visit Smiles on Bristol Dentistry/Santa Ana.