Oral cancer or mouth cancer is tumor that is found on any of the structures of the oral cavity: tongue, lips, cheeks, floor of the mouth, tonsils, salivary glands, throat and jaw bone. To an untrained eye, some manifestations could easily be mistaken as a common sore, especially with the presence of red and white patches, swelling and ulcers. Some of these may be painful and sore like a common ulcer, but some will be completely asymptomatic and are quite negligible.
The rate of oral cancers has seen an increase in the recent years. The treatment modalities are surgery (where the cancerous cells are completely removed from the body), radiotherapy (which makes use of high energy x-ray equipment to kill the cancerous cells) and chemotherapy (which makes use of powerful chemicals and medications to kills the cells). And while some of the conditions regress and resolve after treatment others get worse and lead to fatalities.
Knowing how to avoid oral cancer becomes very valuable at this point. Since there really is no definitive treatment for the condition yet, despite the advances in science, the following should increase a patient’s chance to claim victory over the disease:
- Quit smoking. If you are a smoker, it will best for you to stop the habit because cigarettes are true killers. A single cigarette contains carcinogens that can increase one’s risk of developing cancers. If you are concerned with keeping oral cancer at bay, you will throw the cigarettes and quit the habit altogether.
- Limit your alcohol intake. If you are quite fond of taking alcohol, make sure to always limit you intake to the accepted level of 14 units for women and 21 units for men.
- Visit your dentist regularly. Apart from making sure that no dental problems are neglected, you visit your dentist because regular check ups help increase your chances of surviving an oral cancer because early detection increase success. Today, oral cancer screening is a common feature in dental clinics. A kit is afforded to them and a simple swabbing of the mouth or the affected area can help detect and confirm presence of cancers.
- Eat healthy. Eating healthy means avoiding much of the processed foods that are rich in carcinogens and more of the organic and whole foods that are free from unwanted chemicals.
Some of the sores in the mouth may be the actual cancers and some are oral manifestations of other systemic cancers. It is going to be important for proper differentiation of disease to be ran immediately, so that a definitive address may be provided right away.