Cancer is one of the most prevalent diseases in the UK today and although oral cancer isn’t one of the most well-known types, it is one of the most easily recognised and diagnosed. Oral cancer normally occurs on the tongue or in the floor of the mouth, underneath the tongue. From here, the cancer is able to spread throughout the oral cavity, the lips and even begin metastasis (the process by which cancer spreads around the body) to the neck via the lymphatic system.
Oral cancer can be recognised by patches on the inside of your mouth or lips that are either white, red or a mixture of the both. Dentists are professionally trained to recognise the symptoms of skin cancer so it is essential you visit your local practice in the City of Leeds regularly to ensure an early diagnosis of any problems. Other symptoms that you should keep an eye out for are: sores that won’t heal, earache, bleeding in the mouth, lose teeth or a lump in your neck.
The people who are at the most risk from developing oral cancer are smokers, individuals who drink alcohol on a regular basis and who eat high levels of processed foods, these all contain carcinogens (cancer causing substances) that can trigger the formation of an oral tumour.
Treatment for oral cancer will only begin once a biopsy of your tumour has been taken and the stage at which it is at has been determined. If possible, the bulk of the tumour will be removed from the oral cavity, at which stage any addition therapies may begin. Therapies include radiotherapy, chemotherapy and anti-cancer drugs. If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, these tumours will also be treated and hopefully the spread will be halted.
The most important message in the diagnosis of oral cancer is to keep regular appointments with your dentist, or to visit them if you are worried about any symptoms you may have. As with any cancer, early diagnosis is the most crucial step in curing the disease.