Oral cancer accounts for over 40,000 detected cancers every year in the United States. While the symptoms of oral cancer can be relatively uncomfortable, early prevention often requires more subtle detection from your medical practitioner. Doctors believe that in order to be safe and not sorry, frequent (every other year) full check-ups should be carried out. It is only through professional examination that the existence of a cancer can be confirmed. However, there are early signs you can establish to prepare yourself for a possible diagnosis.
Should You Be Worried?
When most people think of cancer, they are either frightened off by the prospect or paranoid about recognising all the signs. However, early panic is unnecessary because symptoms can sometimes be caused by other benign causes. Therefore, unless you recognise a number of the symptoms listed below and have for at least two weeks, there is no need to worry. Otherwise, you will want to immediately seek a doctor or dentist in Dubai
Oral Cancer Early Signs & Red Flags
If you have been experiencing one or more of these symptoms for over 2 weeks, you will want to immediately visit your doctor:
- Pain/Discomfort chewing and swallowing
- Sore/inflamed areas around the mouth, throat and lips (these areas are usually reddened or swollen and hurt with contact)
- Whitened patches in the mouth
- Sudden, unplanned weight loss
- Non Bleeding ulcers
- Tenderness around mouth and lip area
- “Heavy” tongue and jaw area.
It should be noted that a variety of allergies, viral infections and wounding scars can lead to similar “red flags”. Therefore, should you want more insight on your condition before your medical consultation, you may want to establish whether you fall into the common oral cancer patient profile. In order to make a somewhat accurate self-assessment, you will need to know the causes or oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Causes
Researchers believe that cancer is caused by the rapid growth of mutated DNA cells. These cells cause the death of other cells, which leads to a variety of health problems. While some experts believe this cancer is caused by a dormant genetic mutations, some factors are known to increase one’s likelihood of contracting oral cancer:
Cigarette Smoking (Tobacco Use)
All tobacco has a number of carcinogenic substances. When the smoke is inhaled, these substances are absorbed by lip, mouth or throat cells. This leads the cells to decay, die or mutate.
Drinking alcohol poisons the liver and other receptive cells. When alcohol is ingested, the surface cells of the lips, mouth and digestive system deteriorate. This gradual weakening of the mouth’s cells can lead to abnormal cell growth.
This sexually transmitted disease is commonly associated to mouth cancer. While it is not entirely understood, there is a process through which HPV virus latches on to oral cells and potentially alters their structure, leading to various types of oral cancer.
Not using lip balm with sunscreen can lead to the burning of the sensitive surface cells of the lips. This has been found to occasionally lead to mouth cancer.
While the causes of this fact are unknown, men are statistically twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer.
Detecting Oral Cancer
Whether you can relate to the symptoms listed above or not, you may be wondering how you can avoid developing this disease. A few lifestyle changes are known to drastically lower the risks of oral cancer contraction.
These practices include:
- Staying clear from cigarettes and all other forms of Tobacco
- Exercising more frequently
- Eating organic, fresh vegetables
- Incorporating fruits in your diet
- Using sunscreen and sunscreen-containing lip-balm
- Frequently using mouthwash
- Having yearly dental check-ups
Why You Must Detect Symptoms Early
Though it is best not to panic or self-diagnose, you must also know that early detection is crucial to an easy treatment. The later the cancer is found, the more harmful it becomes to your health and the harder it will be to destroy the cancer. Therefore, if you are worried for yourself or someone you love, it is imperative to get a reliable diagnosis from your dentist in the UAE as quickly as you can.
The treatments used to combat cancer – radiation therapy and chemotherapy – can be quite aggressive. The more advanced the cancer, the stronger the treatment will have to be. The stronger the treatment, the more difficult patients find the side effects to handle.
According to a recent study published by MedicalNewsToday, the survival rates of oral cancer patients during the first 5 years (assuming the cancer has not spread to surrounding areas) are 73% to 95%. However, these rates drop drastically the later patients are treated. Oral cancer early detection is often the deal breaker in the risks of mouth cancer fatality.
A Finishing Note
While no one wants to assume the worst, it is good to be prepared for it. Preparation will require consulting your cancer specialist or dentist in Abu Dhabi for check-up appointments. Our clinic will provide you with a selection of skilled doctors in Dubai to facilitate your check up process. You need only contact us today for more information on scheduling your check up.