Cancer is a dreaded word, and even though it’s often associated with many other parts of the body, oral cancer is unfortunately common, costly, and potentially damaging. However, modern dentistry has come a long way in tackling oral cancer. Routine check-ups go a long way in combating this disease. Of course, that doesn’t make it any less frightening, which is why Brookstone Dental Care has compiled everything you need to know about oral cancer.
It might be obvious, but oral cancer can develop in or around your mouth. Your gums, cheeks, lips, the roof and floor of your mouth, and tongue are all areas oral cancer may occur.
While genetics plays a role, there are three primary risk factors:
Thankfully, these are all activities that can be ceased. It may not be easy if you’re addicted, but consider this: when these factors are combined, as they often are, the risk factor jumps to the point that you may be up to 100 times more likely to develop oral cancer versus a non-smoker, non-drinker. Brookstone Dental Care can advise you of cessation programs and methods to prevent developing oral cancer in the first place.
Additionally, oral cancer may stem from the human papillomavirus or HPV. This is transmitted through oral sexual contact with an infected partner. In addition to quitting tobacco and excess alcohol, practicing responsible sexual health is important, too. We can provide education on this concern as well.
Unfortunately, oral cancer’s death rate is higher than cervical cancer, testicular cancer, skin cancer, and many others. So yes, although preventable and curable, oral cancer is deadly.
Obviously, these symptoms are broad, so it’s important to routinely visit us, and especially visit at the first sign of anything unusual. Whether you have developing oral cancer or something more innocuous, all oral problems worsen over time.