is the sixth most common cancer.
More than 30,000 to
40,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer a year. Here
are some facts:
Smoking, using chewing tobacco, and
heavy drinking are the prime risk factors to getting oral
cancer. However 25% of all people diagnosed with oral
cancer have none of these risk factors at all. It
is the sixth most common cancer.
One half to
two-thirds of these cancer cases are found in men and people older than 45.
most frequent oral cancer sites are the tongue, floor of the mouth, soft
palate tissue areas in back of the tongue, lips and gums.
lesion are life-threatening cell changes in the mouth. If it is not
diagnosed and treated early, is can spread, leading to chronic pain, loss of
function, facial and oral disfigurement following surgery and even death.
In the past decade there has been a dramatic
increase in the number of oral cancer patients under age 30 who have
no identifiable risk factors of contracting the disease.**
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Oral cancer occurs 2.6 times
more frequently in men than in women.
Here are risk factors
and signs of oral cancer you need to know. Remember early detection of
oral caner is up to you by following through on these suggestions.
Check your own
mouth-lips, gums, cheek lining, tongue, floor and roof of your mouth regularly
for the following:
A color change in the oral tissues (whitish,
discolored or red spots or lesions).
A lump, thickening, rough spot crust or small
eroded area in and around the mouth that is typically painless in its early
A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal.
Pain, tenderness or numbness anywhere in your
mouth or on your lips
Difficulty in chewing, swallowing, speaking
or moving the jaw or tongue
Changes in your voice or persistent
A change in the way your teeth fit together.
Watch for changes beyond your mouth that
signal oral cancer: drastic weight loss or a lump or mass in your neck.
The most frequent sites for cancer are
the tongue, floor of the mouth, tissues in the back of the tongue,
lips and gums.
Cancer Self Test
Poor mouth care can contribute
to oral cancer, which now takes more lives annually than cervical or skin
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If any of these conditions persists longer than 2
weeks contact us immediately for an examination
and inform our staff what your concern is about.
oral cancer in the very early stages is CRITICAL
Someone dies from oral cancer every
hour in the U.S.
Prevent Oral Cancer:
You can take steps to minimize your
risk for developing oral cancer:
Stop using any kind of tobacco
product-cigarettes, pipe tobacco, cigars, or smokeless varieties such as
snuff or chewing tobacco; especially in combination with heavy alcohol
consumption. When tobacco use and alcohol use are combined the risk of oral
caner increases 15 times more than non-users of tobacco and alcohol
Long, repeated exposure to the sun may
increase the risk of cancer on the lower lip. Take precautions to
minimize the effect of the sun on your lips.
A diet low
in fruits and vegetable can increase your overall risk of developing cancer
along with genetic, liver function and certain medications.
checkups at least 2 times a year even if your mouth are teeth don't hurt
or your dentures fit.
Ask your dentist to perform an oral
cancer exam and to evaluate abnormalities.
Use good oral health habits by brushing
and flossing daily.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Perform a self-exam-look for anything
abnormal under tongue, on tongue and in cheek and lip areas.
If a sore doesn't go away within two
weeks, tell the dentist.
reduce oral cancer risk. Regular use of low-dose
aspirin may significantly reduce the risk of
cancer of the mouth, throat and esophagus, The
risk of cancers of the mouth, throat and esophagus
was two thirds lower in people who had taken
low-dose aspirin regularly for 5 years or more,
compared with those who never used aspirin
regularly. . [British J of
Cancer 2003;88:672-674. cited Contemporary Oral
Hygiene 2003; 3(6)] 8/03
Eating an orange a
day may be one of the secrets to living younger
longer. According to study
results, a mere one extra serving of citrus fruits
each day may reduce the risk of cancers
of the mouth, larynx, and stomach by as much as
50 percent. Researchers credit the antioxidant
properties of vitamin C-rich citrus fruits for the
possible cancer-fighting benefits. RealAge
Benefit: Getting 1,200 milligrams of
vitamin C per day from food and supplements can make
your RealAge as much as 1 year younger. 1/04
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Self Examination for oral cancer
We will screen for oral cancer
during comprehensive examinations and or periodic exams (checkups). We
feel for lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, cheeks and oral
cavity and thoroughly examine the soft tissues in your mouth looking for any
sores or discolored tissues.
Prevention can be accomplished
by following the above suggestions and receiving regular 6
month check ups where an oral cancer check is a routine part of this
If it is suspected that
you have oral caner, a biospy of the lesion will be required to confirm the
You will be requested to visit your doctor to confirm the
diagnosis. Surgery and/or radiation therapy may be used as part of the
treatment. Chemotherapy is a treatment that uses special chemicals to kill
Oral cancer accounts for roughly 9,000 deaths a year. Of
all major cancers, oral cancer has the worst five-year survival rate at about
54% because it is often not diagnosed in it's early stages. Less than half
of these patients are cured due to this fact.
Remember it is sometimes
difficult to self-diagnose this condition which makes regular dental visits a
valuable preventive tool in your fight against cancer. Early diagnosis can
greatly increase your survival rate due to earlier oral cancer discovery and
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Surgeon General's Report
states: Oral and pharyngeal cancers are diagnosed in nearly 30,000 Americans
annually, primarily the elderly; 8,000 die from these disease each year.
Oral Caner and
Shingles is related to immune system, which can be
altered by stress, difference immune related
diseases, such as AIDS, CANCER etc. Cancer
treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can
increase the chance of getting shingles, because of
the stress it puts on the immune system, the
alteration of lymph system drainage and cell damage
by the radiation treatments. Shingles can be a very
painful disease, the nerve endings can be very
painful to slightest touch. Sometimes this post
neuralgia is permanent but usually it goes away.
Shingles can be brought on by increased STRESS and
altered immune system because of the cancer
treatments. IDF 8/06
ALERT: Green and black teas contain
polyphenols that appear to kill oral cancer cells by destroying the tumor
"nest". ADA News, March 2001
To learn more go too:
American Dental Association and click on the Patients and Consumers content
Academy of General Dentistry and click on Consumer Information for articles related to this and other
dental topics. www.cancer.org
American Cancer Society
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention
Annual Deaths From Cancers
Oral Canal Foundation
** AGD Impact, Dec 2002.
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February 06, 2008
Oral Cancer Index