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Oral Cancer is a growth or sore in the mouth that does not go away. Oral Cancer can be life threatening if not diagnosed or treated early.

According to the American Cancer Society, men face twice the risk of developing cancer as women. Men who are over 50 face the greatest risk. It is estimated that over 40,000 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with oral cancer in 2014

Symptoms

  1. Swelling, lumps or bumps, rough spots, crusts or eroded areas on the lips, gums or other areas of the mouth.
  2. Patches in the mouth that are white, red or speckled in the mouth.
  3. Unexplained bleeding in the mouth.
  4. Soreness or feeling something in the back of the mouth.
  5. Ear pain.
  6. Persistant sores on the face, neck or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal in 2 weeks.
  7. Change in the way teeth or dentures fit together.

If you have any of these symptoms, contact your doctor or health care provider immediately.

Risk Factors

  1. Smoking, including cigars, cigarettes or pipe smokers are six times more likely than nonsmokers to develop oral cancer.
  2. Excessive consumption of alcohol.
  3. Family history.
  4. Excessive sun exposure.
  5. HPV-Human papallomavirus

25% of all Oral Cancers occur in people who do not smoke and only drink occasionally.

Diagnosis

Oral Cancer can be diagnosed as part of your normal dental exam. Your dentist will look for lumps, bumps or any unusual tissue changes in your neck, head, face and oral cavity. While examining your mouth your dentist will look for any sores or discolored tissue. Seeing your dentist on a regular schedule can help detect any changes.

Treatment

  1. Surgery
  2. Radiation
  3. Chemotherapy