Cancer of the mouth or oral cancer includes cancer of the tongue, gums, cheeks, palate, tonsils or the back of the throat. Oral cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among men in the country. In women, it is among the 5 most common cancers. Each year, more than 80,000 people get oral cancer, and 60% of these patients die prematurely from oral cancer. This is the reason why we should be aware of the causes and symptoms/signs of oral cancer.
What is the biggest cause of oral cancer?
The biggest cause of oral cavity cancer is smoking. Tobacco is consumed in many ways like smoking cigarettes-bidi, chewing tobacco paan, chewing tobacco-gutkha etc. Other causes also include viral infections like HPV. Sometimes excessive sun exposure also causes lip cancer. With age, the risk of cancer increases. Quitting tobacco use can reduce the risk of oral cancer by up to 90 percent.
Recognize these 3 signs of oral cancer
Early symptoms of oral cancer include a number of signs. Although it is not necessary that there is always cancer when the following signs/symptoms appear, but if they persist, then you need to get checked out by a qualified doctor.
1 Tickling or tightness in the mouth, lips or throat
Sore throat or mouth, itching or tightness in the mouth, lips or throat. Sore throat is felt due to many types of infections. It can also happen due to a simple viral infection. But if it takes a long time, then definitely do some investigation. Sometimes it can also be an indicator of cancer or a premalignant condition.
2 white or red spots appear
If you see white or red spots inside your mouth, you must have an examination immediately. White spots are sometimes called leukoplakia. Cancer may occur in 5 to 10 percent of people with leukoplakia. Red spots can be caused by erythroplakia. Up to 50 percent of people who suffer from this may later develop oral cancer.
If detected in the early stages, almost all patients can be treated. A biopsy may be needed if these types of patches are visible. It is important to know that a biopsy of such patches does not create or spread cancer. However, it certainly helps in the correct diagnosis of the disease, and also helps in the treatment according to the requirements.
3 Difficulty swallowing or chewing
If there is difficulty in chewing, speaking, swallowing or moving the gums, then this may be a symptom of oral cancer.
Swelling on the cheeks, bump or swelling on the neck can sometimes be an early symptom of cancer. Often this type of swelling is painless. This is why people often ignore them at first. But because of the tendency to go to the specialist as soon as the pain starts, many times the cancer is given a lot of time to spread. Sometimes the jaw moves due to cancer of the oral cavity.
don’t panic, get tested
If any of the above symptoms or signs appear, do not panic. It’s not necessarily because of cancer. Even if cancer is present, most patients can be treated if oral cancer is diagnosed at an early stage. Early detection of oral cancer is its effective treatment. Consult your doctor or dentist or surgeon/cancer specialist to rule out the possibility of cancer and find out the exact cause of the disease and treat it.
Always remember, together we can beat cancer.
Recognize the symptoms – don’t ignore them, seek medical advice if necessary and most importantly avoid smoking.
Also read this – A new detection kit will tell if chemotherapy is needed in the treatment of breast cancer or not, know what this new tool is