CANCER: Signs, symptoms
So many of us worry about Colin, breast, pancreatic, testicular, lung or lymph cancer, we forget about oral cancer. Oral cancer in its early stage development is often painless and the physical signs are not obvious. Regular screenings by a qualifies medical doctor of dentist professional, combined with a persons knowledge of the warning sings and symptoms, will allow its discovery in the early stages, when cure and survival are most likely. Even precancerous tissue changes can often be detected.
red and/or white discolorations of the soft tissue of the mouth
Any sore which does not heal within 14 days
Hoarseness which last's for a prolonged time
A sensation that something is always stuck in your throat
Numbness in any of the oral region
Difficulty in moving the muscles of the mouth, lips or tongue
difficulty in swallowing
Ear pain which occurs on one side only
A sore under a denture, which even after adjustment of the denture, still does not heal
A lump or thickening which develops in the mouth or the neck
Tobacco use... in any form such as smoking, tobacco chewing, cigar smoking. Not using these forms of tobacco is highly important.
Excessive alcohol consumption... more then 15 alcohol beverages a week may put you at greater risk. If you drink, do it in moderation.
The combined use of tobacco and alcohol increases your chance 10 fold
The use betel nuts and bedis: avoid their use
The betel palm, a species of palm tree found primarily in Asian countries, yields a seed known as a betel nut. Natives of the Asian and Indian countries where this tree is found use the nut much like those in Western countries use chewing tobacco or snuff. It is shaved or cut into slivers for easier chewing and is often mixed with local spices or tobacco for a more appealing flavor. Some producers wrap the ground-up betel nut and spice mixture in a fresh Beta palm and sell it in local shops.
Excessive exposure to the sun unprotected increases the chance of lip cancer.30 spf or higher will protect
Lack of use of nutrients from fruit and vegetables... A diet that does not contain enough protective nutrients of these foods increases the risk of developing oral cancer, plus a variety of other illnesses.
RISK FACTORS NOT IN YOUR CONTROL, OR WHICH CONTROL IS LIMITED
HPV16 VIRAL INFECTION...An increase of non-smoking young individuals are being diagnosed with oral cancer. The Caucasian factor is persistent HPV16 viral infection, the same virus responsible for 95% of all cervical cancer.
AGE..older individuals tend to develop more diseases in general, including oral cancer, as their immune system becomes less efficient.
RACE,ETHNICITY AND ECONOMICS. There are socioeconomic factors that influence the development of cancer's in different groups of people. For instance, while not related to biology, blacks are diagnosed with ORAL CANCER 2 to 1 over other races. In addition, people who live in areas with poor access to health care, or for economic reasons do not routinely visit with a dentist or doctor, are also increased risk.
RECURRENCE. Previous head and neck cancer patients have a higher risk of a cancer recurrence which may occur in the mouth or other areas of the aero-digestive tract.
GENDER. Statically males get oral cancer more then females. Again, this is not related to biology, but to lifestyle issues. HPV virus impacts men more then women. 4 to 1. the reason for this is poorly understood.
THE GOOD NEWS: IT CAN OFTEN BE
FOUND EARLY IN ITS DEVELOPMENT.
With a 3-5 minute test, you can receive comprehensive oral cancer examination. This exam should include a visual and tactical exploration of the interior of your mouth, as well as the underside or your chin and neck. Some doctors and dentist's. Some doctors uses a special light or a special dye in aide to discover tissue which is suspicious. If an area of concern is located, the doctor may use a small brush to collect cells from the area for further examination. If the doctor suspects that something is abnormal, it is standard procedure to refer you to a specialist for further opinion and perhaps even a small painless biopsy of the tissue in question. Referral for a second opi9on should not alarm you, but assure you that the Doctor wants to conclusively determine what, if any, the abnormality may be.. Most abnormalities turn out to be BENIGN conditions.
At the same time, this quick and inexpensive cancer examination will allow and serious condition to be caught at the earliest possible time, when treatments are most effective.. An oral cancer examination should be done at least once a year and easily incorporated into your normal routine visits for health checkups, cleanings, and regular exams(exceptionally for those of you who are high in the risk factor category such as tobacco.
Now, with all that said, even though the following might seem like such a small number in comparison to the general population 43.250 people newly diagnosed each year, these fall under the head and neck category. Other cancers of the head and neck, include thyroid and larynx cancers and are not included in this number.. However, even though this number seems small, make no mistake, that the number of deaths from oral cancer is high at 43% of those who are diagnosed and will not survive more then 5 years. Now remember, most Oral cancers can be caught early, even as a pre-cancer. With early detection, survival rates are high and side effects from treatments are at their lowest.
BE AWARE.... AVOID RISK FACTORS.. GET AN ANNUAL SCREENING