Topic
Oral Cancer
Created by udent on 2/2/2008 12:00:00 AM

Oral cancer will be diagnosed in an estimated 30,000 Americans every year, and will cause approximately 8,000 deaths. On average, only half of those with the disease will survive more than five years.


Incidence and survival.

Oral cancer will be diagnosed in an estimated 30,000 Americans every year, and will cause approximately 8,000 deaths. On average, only half of those with the disease will survive more than five years.

What is the importance of early detection?

With early detection and timely treatment, death from oral cancer could be dramatically reduced.

Early detection of oral cancer is often possible; tissue changes in the mouth that might signal the beginning of cancer can often be seen and felt easily.

What could be the warning signs?

 Possible signs and symptoms of oral cancer that might be noticed are:

  • Leukoplakia (white lesions).
  • Erythroplakia (red lesions).
  • Lump or thickening in the oral soft tissues.
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing.
  • Difficulty moving the jaw or the tongue.
  • Numbness of the tongue or other areas in the mouth.

If the above problems persist for more than two weeks, a clinical and laboratory test is necessary for a definitive diagnosis.

What are the risk factors?

  • Tobacco, especialy chewing tobacco, and excessive alcohol use increases the risk of oral cancer.
  • Exposure to the sunlight is a risk factor to the lips.
  • Oral cancer is typically a disease of older people.
  • Oral cancer strikes men twice as much as it does women.

Methods of treatment.

  • Surgery to remove the cancer in the mouth.
  • Radiation therapy, which is a high-energy ray,is uesed to kil cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy, which is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells.
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