Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, is where a tumor develops in the lining of the mouth. This tumor could appear on the surface of the tongue, the insides of the cheeks, the roof of the mouth (palate), or the lips or gums. It can also develop in the glands that produce saliva, the tonsils at the back of the mouth, and the part of the throat connecting your mouth to your windpipe (pharynx). But these are less common.
What are Symptoms or early signs of mouth cancer? Actually some research claim there are often no signs or symptoms of oral cancer but according to nhs.uk i.e National Health Service in England says symptoms may include: sore mouth ulcers that don’t heal within several weeks, unexplained, persistent lumps in the mouth that don’t go away, unexplained, persistent lumps in the neck that don’t go away, unexplained looseness of teeth, or sockets that don’t heal after extractions, unexplained, persistent numbness or an odd feeling on the lip or tongue, sometimes, white or red patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue and changes in speech, such as a lisp.
It is frequently diagnosed in late stages because most patients present to the hospital late. As of 1st week in November, National Health Service UK reported that “Mouth cancer diagnoses have shot up by 135 per cent over the past two decades” and that last year seven people died every day, with a total 8,337 diagnosed in the UK. That HPV, sexually transmitted disease, causes 73 per cent of mouth cancer diagnosis. Human papillomavirus (HPV) – the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US is also reported to be found in mouth and throat or oropharyngeal (OR-oh-fuh-RIN-jee-uhl) cancers in men and women. More than 7 out of 10 cancers found in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils, are HPV-related.
4 Ways To Prevent Mouth Cancer
1. Steer clear of tobacco: The longer you’ve used tobacco and the more often you use it, the greater your risk of head and neck cancers. Chewing, smokeless and snuff tobaccos, which are placed directly in the mouth, can create gray-white ulcers called leukoplakia in the mouth that can become cancerous. Smokeless tobacco also contains chemicals known to damage a gene that protects against cancer.
2. Cut Down on Your Heavy Drink alcohol Consumption: The longer you use alcohol and the amount you drink, the more your risk goes up. That’s because alcohol plays a role in changing the body’s chemistry to break down its defenses against cancer. People who have more than 3.5 alcoholic drinks per day increase their risk of oral cavity cancers two to three times, according Health expert. Avoid excessive drinking. Alcohol dependence and binge drinking increase a person’s risk.
3. Increase Your Fruits and Vegetable Intake: research has revealed that not consuming fruits and vegetables regularly can be more associated with an increased risk of developing oral cancer. A 2017 research conducted in South-west Nigeria also attested to that. You may want to increase your intake of those fruit and veggies
4. Visit Your Dentist Regularly: Very often, dentists and dental hygienists are the first to notice potentially cancerous growths. See your dentist if symptoms don’t heal within three weeks, particularly if you drink or smoke heavily. Be sure to brush and floss twice a day — and after meals — to keep your teeth and mouth healthy.
Oral cancer is said to be one of the ten most common cancers worldwide and major health problem especially in developing countries. Visit our health and lifestyle pages for more articles.