The last three decades reveal a decline in the death rate for oral cancer but this gives no one an excuse to be complacent especially if one’s lifestyle includes smoking and drinking. According to the American Cancer Society, there are about 37,000 cases of oral cancer in 2014 and over
Oral cancer may originate from many parts of the oral and maxillofacial region including the throat, gums, salivary glands, tongue and face. The most common types are melanoma, teratoma and adenocarcinoma.
What to Expect
The procedure itself is quick and painless. Your health care provider will ask you to remove your dentures (if you wear any) before starting the physical exam. Then, your neck, lips, tongue, mouth and face will be examined for unusual bumps, sores, red patches, spots and lesions. The inside of your lips and cheeks will be checked for red and white spots. The tongue will be inspected for discoloration or swelling. The base and underside of the tongue will also be checked for any possible signs of cancer. The throat and roof and floor of your mouth will also be inspected thoroughly, including its sensitivity and for lumps.
If the doctor finds anything suspicious, further tests will be suggested. There are various treatments available for oral cancer including chemotherapy, excision and radiation therapy.
Avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are important in minimizing the risks of developing cancer. Maintaining a healthy diet is also beneficial.>