The American Cancer Society estimates for oral cavity, and oropharyngeal cancers in the United States for 2019 are:
- About 53,000 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer.
- Approximately 10,860 individuals will die of these cancers.
- Incidence is twice as common in men as in women.
- They are about equally common in blacks and Caucasians.
Oral cancer is a malignant tumor that emanates from the oral mucosa. Any area in the oral cavity can be affected, such as the tongue or the floor of the mouth. Troubling is the fact that the patient may not notice the progression of the disease at an early stage because it is not uncommon for it to progress without causing pain or noticeable symptoms.
Causes of Oral Cancer
Why oral cancer develops is not clear. Certain habits of life can contribute to its creation. It is proven that people are more likely to develop oral cancer if they regularly smoke and drink alcohol for a long time.
Changes in the oral mucosa, such as non-healing wounds, may be the first indication of oral cancer. Other symptoms might include whitish or red spots in the mouth that cannot be wiped off or scraped off, Swelling in the mouth (foreign body sensation), unclear tooth loosening, complaints when chewing and swallowing, swollen lymph nodes on the neck, increased salivation, decreased mobility of the tongue, numbness on tongue, teeth or lip etc. Please note that these signs can also have other causes.
If these signs are noticed and persist, you should see your doctor or dentist.
Detection and Cure for oral cancer
Diagnoses involve taking a tissue sample from a suspicious spot in the mouth. This is then examined to confirm the presence or absence of cancerous cells.
It is impossible to predict how the disease will progress. Among other things, this depends on how quickly and aggressively, the cancer grows also how big it is. Small, localized tumors can either be operated on or irradiated.
In more advanced oral cancer cases, surgery is often supplemented with radiation or radiation chemotherapy.
The treatment also depends on the personal needs and the physical condition of the person concerned. All treatment options and their advantages and disadvantages would be highlighted to the patient.