Any form of cancer can devastate lives. Cases of oral cancer have been rising in recent years. It is important to understand the causes and how you can limit your risks. The good news is that new treatments are becoming increasingly successful at treating oral cancer when it is recognised early, for this reason it is vital to know the signs and symptoms of the development of oral cancer.
The most commonly found form of oral cancer is ‘squamous cell carinonas’. The cancer does not develop on your teeth but in any soft tissue in or around the mouth: gums, tongue, or mouth lining. The symptoms of oral cancer are varied and wide ranging. Red and/or white patches, persistent mouth ulcers, or swelling that does not disappear after several weeks can all be indicators. Pain when swallowing, or in the ear or neck can also be a sign of oral cancer. There are, of course, several causes for these symptoms, and so it is highly advised that you visit your local Leeds dentist for a full check up. Your dentist will refer you to a specialist if they believe you are at any risk of oral cancer.
While everyone is at risk from cancer, there are some things that can increase your chances of developing oral cancer. Smoking is a major cause of oral (and other) cancer, a large majority of all oral cancer cases are linked to smoking tobacco. High alcohol consumption also increases the chances of cancer. The spread of HPV (human papillomavirus), a STI, is thought to be the cause of rising cases of oral cancer in recent decades.