Oral or mouth cancer can affect any part of the mouth, including lips and tongue. Globally, every year over 450,000 new cases of mouth-cancer are reported. While stage 1 and stage 2 survival rates are above 80%, the survival rate comes down to as less as 34% for stage-4 or end-stage oral cancer.
Experts say oral cancer can occur in people of any age. However, the risks are particularly high in adults who are 45 years or more in age. Despite the growing number of worldwide oral-cancer cases, most people are still not well informed about oral care symptoms, prevention and treatment.
Here are 5 things that you must know about Oral cancer:
1. Common Symptoms
Early diagnosis is the key to success in oral cancer treatment. Further, it also lessens the suffering and pain that oral cancer patients must go through. Early symptoms of possible oral cancer include:
- Lump inside the mouth
- Mouth or lip sores that do not heal
- Unexplained loose teeth
- Difficulty in eating and swallowing food
- Severe mouth and ear pain
2. Factors That Put You At Higher Risk of Oral Cancer
Most oral cancer cases are related primarily to tobacco consumptions and smoking. Age is also an important factor, with 95% of oral cancer found in people who are 40 years of age and more.
However, there are other factors too that can cause oral cancer, including:
- Alcohol abuse
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) virus (transmitted sexually)
- Weak immune system
3. Food That Fights Oral Cancer Risk Factors
Our food intake plays a major role in fighting and mitigating oral cancer risk factors. Lack of nutrients in the food can increase the chances of oral cancer. Food rich in vitamins and antioxidants not only boosts the immune systems but also exceedingly reduces oral cancer risk factors.
In addition to a balanced diet, healthy oral habits are effective in preventing serious dental issues, including oral cancer.
- Drink lots of water to keep your mouth moist
- Avoid alcohol-based dental care products
- Brush teeth and gums regularly using a soft bristle toothbrush
4. Don’t Ignore Dental Visits
Dental visits are more than just about getting a bright smile. Rather, the small amount of time that you spent on the dentist’s chair is of paramount importance to your dental health. The dentist does a thorough check-up of every part and corner of your mouth, including the tongue.
If there is any problem or issue, your dentist is the only person who can inform you about it. So make a point to not skip on your routine dental visits without any concrete reasons.
5. Be Aware and Stay Mindful
Most people visit their dentist, not more than once or twice a year. But considering the rising number of oral cases, it is equally important that you too stay alert. If you experience unusual, discomforting and prolonged redness or white patches inside your mouth, see your nearest dentist immediately. Remember, timely care and treatment save money, time and most importantly, life.
The best thing to do is not to take any chance and visit the dentist near you and clear all your doubts and fears. Experts at best dental hospitals and clinics say that treatment needs in the case of oral cancer may vary from patient to patient. Early diagnosis plays a key role in improving survival chances. It is also important to understand that most symptoms do not turn out to be cancer.