Oral Cancer consists of cancer cells in the mouth, including the lip, gums cheeks, tongue, tonsils, and floor of the mouth. In 1992 there were approximately 11,500 new cases diagnosed and 2,200 deaths in the United States. It’s a proven fact that more men then women are affected.
The primary cause of mouth cancer is tobacco use. Like smoking, chewing, and dipping. Smokers are 4 to 15 times more likely to develop cancer of the mouth. Another cause of this cancer is chronic or excessive alcohol consumption. Epidemiological research has indicated that the risk of cancer is higher among people who drink, even if they don’t smoke. If they do smoke, the risk is multiplied. Other risk factors include certain nutritional deficiencies, and even too much sun can cause some cases of cancer of the lower lip.
Early cancers of the mouth may appear as red, slightly raised areas with ill-defined borders. There could be a lump that can be felt with the tip of the tongue or a sore that doesn’t heal. Eating or drinking may be difficult and cause some soreness.
There are many types of cancer you can be diagnosed with. A symptom of lip cancer may be an enlarging growth that repeatedly forms a dry crust that bleeds when removed. It may not be painful unless it becomes an open sore or gets infected.
Cancers of the gum may appear as a toothache, loose teeth, or a sore that does not heal. Bleeding and mild pain may occur if the area is injured.
The most common symptom of tongue cancer is a mild irritation. Pain may only occur during eating or drinking. Extensive involvement of the muscles of the tongue can affect speech and swallowing. Advanced tumors may produce a bad smell.
Cancer of the tonsils often does not produce any symptoms until it is somewhat advanced, at which point there may be a sore throat that is aggravated by eating, drinking, and an earache.
Diagnostic procedures may include a manual exam by a doctor, x-rays, and a biopsy. There are different stages for cancer of the mouth, here are some; o Stage 1- cancer is no more than 2 centimeters and has not spread to lymph nodes in the area o Stage 2- the cancer is no more than 2 cm but less than 4, and has not spread to lymph nodes. o Stage 3- the cancer is more then 4 cm or the cancer is nay size but has spread to only one lymph node on the same side of the neck as the cancer and the lymph node is no larger than 3 cm.