RISK FACTORS FOR ORAL CAVITY CANCER
A risk factor is something that increases the risk of developing cancer. It could be a behavior, substance or condition. Most cancers are the result of many risk factors. Tobacco and alcohol are the most important risk factors for oral cavity cancer.
Oral cavity cancer is rare in children and young adults. The risk of developing oral cavity cancer increases with age. It is greatest after 45 years of age. More men than women develop oral cavity cancer, and it occurs more often in men of African descent. Some studies show that low socio-economic status, lack of education and low income are linked with a higher rate of oral cavity cancer.
Risk factors are generally listed in order from most to least important. But in most cases, it is impossible to rank them with absolute certainty.
| KNOWN RISK FACTORS
|| POSSIBLE RISK FACTORS
FINDING ORAL CAVITY CANCER EARLY
The goal of oral cancer screening is to identify mouth cancer early, when there is a greater chance for a cure.
When oral cavity cancer is found and treated early, the chances of successful treatment are better. Get regular health checkups and see your doctor if you have:
- white or red patches in the mouth or on the lip
- a sore in the mouth or on the lip that doesn’t heal
- a lump or thickened area in the mouth or on the lip
- loose teeth or dentures that no longer fit
- bleeding in the mouth
Some people have a higher than average risk of developing oral cavity cancer. You may be at a higher risk if you:
- smoke, use smokeless tobacco or both
- drink alcohol, especially if you are a heavy drinker
- have a precancerous condition of the oral cavity like leukoplakia, erythroplakia or oral submucous fibrosis
Talk to our team doctors about your risk. If you are at higher than average risk, you may need a personal plan for testing. This may include:
- Getting regular exams of the oral cavity and throat
- Toluidine blue staining, which uses a dye to check for abnormal areas in the oral cavity
- Direct fluorescence visualization, which uses a special light to find abnormal cells in the oral cavity
Exfoliative cytology, or brush Biopsy, of the oral cavity, which uses a hard brush to scrape cells from tissue in the oral cavity so they can be examined under a microscope.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF ORAL CAVITY CANCER
A sign is something that can be observed and recognized by a doctor or healthcare professional (for example, a rash). A symptom is something that only the person experiencing it can feel and know (for example, pain or tiredness). The signs and symptoms of oral cavity cancer can also be caused by other health conditions. It is important to have any unusual symptoms checked by a doctor.
Signs and symptoms of oral cavity cancer include:
- white patches (leukoplakia), red patches (erythroplakia) or mixed red and white patches (eryhtroleukoplakia) on the lips or in the mouth
- an ulcer or sore in the mouth or on the lip that doesn’t heal
- a lump or growth on the lip or in the mouth, including on the tongue
- thickening in the cheek
- bleeding in the mouth
- pain in the mouth that doesn’t go away
- persistent earache
- loose teeth
- dentures that no longer fit
- slurred speech
- swollen salivary glands
- swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- numbness or loss of sensation over the tongue or lips
- swelling of the jaw
Late signs and symptoms
Late signs and symptoms occur as the cancer grows larger or spreads to other parts of the body, including other organs. These include:
- Swelling in the neck
- Inability to open the mouth fully (trismus)
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Painful swallowing or chewing
- Difficulty moving the tongue or jaw
- Loss of appetite (anorexia)
- Weight loss
Rare signs and symptoms
Rare signs and symptoms of oral cavity cancer are:
- Orocutaneous fistula (an opening from the inside of the mouth to the surface of the skin)
- Advanced cancers may wear through the fat layer of the mouth to the outer skin, creating an opening on the surface.
- Fracture of the jaw bone
- Advanced oral cavity cancer may weaken the jaw bone and cause it to break.
Call us today for more information: +91-9869278739
Care32 Family Dental Care Center, Andheri East, Mumbai