Oral cancer is serious problem for Americans. About 36,000 will get diagnosed with the disease a year but only half will survive within five years of their diagnosis.
Cancer is never a disease to be taken lightly. To increase your chances of survival it needs to be caught and treated while still in its early stages. Oral cancer is especially serious because it quickly spreads throughout the body, especially to the lungs and lymph nodes.
Once the disease has spread it becomes very difficult to treat and can be fatal.
One of the difficulties with oral cancer is that it can be hard to detect yourself. That’s why it’s important to get a check up every six months to a year. Some people never even now they have oral cancer until it’s too late because it isn’t always symptomatic.
When symptoms do appear you should pay attention to them. The symptoms of oral cancer include, a lump on or near the mouth, bleeding sores on the mouth and difficulty chewing or swallowing. There may be tenderness or pain in the mouth or lips and changes or hoarseness in your voice.
Often patients that have oral cancer are smokers, heavy drinkers or chew tobacco. This isn’t the case with everyone, however. It has been known to occur in people who don’t follow the established behavior patterns that make you prone to getting the disease.
Cancer is serious and potentially deadly so, do what you can to prevent it. See your dentist on a regular basis and request an oral exam. This is especially important if you are over 45.
Always stay away from tobacco products and limit your alcohol use, as well. A healthy diet and limiting exposure to the sun will all help you avoid getting oral cancer. It’s easier to take these precautions than to hope you find and treat the disease before it becomes fatal.