Mouth Cancer Symptoms: Early Warning Signs
Oral Cancer Causes: Taking Steps to Help Prevent It
Dentists Can Detect Skin Cancer
What you know about oral cancer could help save your life. This section will help you get started on your fact-finding missing by providing a comprehensive overview about mouth cancer. To start, there are a few things you should know. First of all, cancer of the mouth can be successfully treated, but there's a catch: It has to be caught early. Checking your mouth at home for possible signs of mouth cancer is essential, especially if you smoke cigarettes. But it's also key to make oral cancer exams a regular part of your health regimen. This doesn't require a special appointment — a dentist can check for symptoms of mouth cancer as part of your twice yearly dental exam. An oral cancer screening is quick and painless and one of the keys to good health.
Q: I don't smoke or use any tobacco products. Do I still need a mouth cancer exam?
A: Yes. While cancer of the mouth has been linked to the use of cigarettes and other tobacco products, age and alcohol use may also be factors. Moreover, men over the age of 40 could be at increased risk for oral cancer. The best way to think about mouth cancer is that although some may be more susceptible to it, everyone can get it.
Q: What are some common signs of mouth cancer?
A: Oral cancer, or mouth cancer, can manifest as white or red patches or lesions anywhere in the mouth. Oftentimes, these symptoms of mouth cancer appear on or around the tongue and along the floor of the mouth.
Difficulty swallowing, bleeding in the mouth or a lump in your neck are other signs of mouth cancer. More subtle symptoms of mouth cancer include swelling on one side of the face or a droop in the mouth.
Q: What's involved in an oral cancer screening?
A: A basic oral cancer exam is quick and painless and often performed during your regular dental visits. Your dentist will check for any signs of mouth cancer using both a visual and tactile methods. Typically, you'll be asked to stick out your tongue so that you dentist can examine all sides of your tongue, mouth and throat. He or she will touch the areas around your jaws and both sides of the neck, checking for abnormal lumps.
Q: Is mouth cancer fatal?
A: Oral cancer can, and does, claim lives. That's why the sooner you act on symptoms of mouth cancer signs the better. Here's why: Treating cancer of the mouth in its pre-cancerous or early stage is much more successful than in the advanced stages. That's just one reason why regular dental visits and mouth cancer exams are so key; they allow your dentist to monitor the health of your teeth and mouth, making it possible to prevent problems or treat them as soon as possible.