Oral Cancer Prevention and Treatment

Oral cancer manifests itself as a growth or a sore in the mouth, and it does not go away. Most common among individuals aged between 41 and 60, with men at a higher risk than women, oral cancer affects the tongue, sinuses, lips, throat, cheeks, gums, teeth, as well as the roof of the mouth or below the tongue.

It is imperative to note that early detection of oral cancer is vital. The risk factors for this type of cancer include tobacco use, exposure to ultra-violet light, and consumption of more than three alcoholic drinks per day. The HPV virus has also been reported to play a role in some cases of oral cancer. Prior cancer of the neck and head also increases the risk of oral cancer.

The most common symptoms of oral cancer include white or red patches on the lips, tongue, gums, a lump in the mouth, a lump in the neck, painful chewing and swallowing, lasting sore throat, bleeding in the mouth, jaw swelling, loose teeth, and ear pain.

Preventing oral cancer

1. Avoid tobacco

Smokeless tobacco products create gray-white ulcers known as leukoplakia, which can be cancerous. Smokeless tobacco also contains chemicals that are reported to damage a gene that safeguards against cancer. The more often and the longer a person uses tobacco, the higher the risk of oral cancer.

2. Drink alcohol in moderation

The risk of contracting oral cancer increases with the length of time as well as the amount of alcohol consumed. Consuming more than three alcoholic drinks per day increases the risk of oral cancer. Dependence on alcohol as well as binge drinking also increases one's risk. Excessive drinking combined with smoking has a multiplying effect.

3. Limit your exposure to the sun

There is a need to apply UV-A/B blocking sun protection on your lips when exposed to the sun. Repeated exposure to the sun increases the risk of cancer, especially for the lower lip. You can use lip-stick size sunscreen tubes to replace your regular moisturizer or lip gloss.

4. Always brush and floss teeth regularly

The immune system is reduced by an unhealthy mouth which also hinders the body's ability to defend itself against cancer.

5. Consume cancer-fighting foods

There is a broad spectrum of foods that play a role in cancer prevention. Some of these include berries, beans, dark green leafy vegetables, grapes, cruciferous vegetables, green tea, flaxseed garlic, tomatoes, and soy. These foods contain lots of antioxidants.

6. Visit your dentist regularly

Regular visits to the dentist or a dental hygienist are essential. It is also vital to have regular oral cancer screenings.

Cancer treatment

A dentist can diagnose oral cancer. Treatment includes surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Early oral cancer treatment may involve surgery and radiotherapy. The treatment chosen often depends on a number of factors.

Have more questions about oral cancer? Contact us today!

When was the last time you have an oral cancer screening? Schedule one with one of our dentists today.

Are you considering getting an oral cancer screening in the Visalia area? Get more information at https://www.dentistofvisalia.com.

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