What is oral cancer?
Cancer develops when cells begin to mutate or change and grow disproportionately and out of control. These abnormal cells can grow to form a mass or a lump called a tumor. Oral cancer is the kind of cancer that commences in cells present on the lips or inside your mouth or the lips. The best dentist in Houston or a healthcare provider is generally able to find oral cancer at an early stage.
Common risk factors associated with oral cancer
A risk factor basically stands for something that might end up increasing your chances of contracting a disease. According to experts at a dental care Houston, there is no exact cause of why someone suffers from cancer. However, risk factors may make it a lot more likely for someone to suffer from cancer. Many risk factors might be out of your control. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some things that you can change for others.
Oral cancer is more common among men. On average, it affects twice as many men as women. Some other factors that can increase the risk of getting cancer include:
- Current or past use of any sort of tobacco
- Exposure to the sun for prolonged periods
- Heavy use of alcohol on a regular basis
- The fair complexion of the skin
- Suffering from human papillomavirus (HPV) infection
- Consuming fewer vegetables and fruits in your daily diet
- Chronic irritation in your mouth like from using dentures that don’t fit you properly
- Using betel quid with tobacco and related chewing products
- Some genetic conditions, like Fanconi anemia
- A weak immune system genetically or acquired
You should ideally talk to your Houston dentist regarding your risk factors concerning oral and other kinds of cancer and discuss what steps you can take to reduce them.
Some common symptoms associated with oral cancer
Oral cancer is usually found when a person notices some changes taking place in their mouth. Some of the common symptoms of oral cancer can be:
- A sore in your mouth or on your lip that is not healing
- A lump in your throat, in your mouth, or on your lip
- A red or white patch in the lining of your mouth, your tongue, or on the gums
- Abnormal numbness, pain, or bleeding in your mouth
- A constant feeling that something is caught in your throat and won’t get out
- A constant feeling of numbness on your tongue or in your mouth
- Trouble swallowing or chewing
- A painful sensation when you swallow or chew
- Swelling present around your lower and upper jaw
- Painful or loose teeth
- A mass, swelling, or lump in your neck
- Sudden and significant weight loss
- Noticeable change in your voice and trouble speaking
- Pain in your jaw or just under your ear
A lot of these symptoms can also be caused by different health issues. However, it is crucial that you visit your healthcare provider at Houston dental clinic immediately for the best dental care once you begin to feel these symptoms. Your healthcare provider will give you a thorough medical exam and can determine if you suffer from cancer.
How to Cope with oral cancer
It is natural for people to feel stressed, depressed, or worried when it comes to coping with cancer. Getting treated for cancer can often be hard on your body and mind. You need to keep in touch with your healthcare team regarding any concerns or problems that you have. You need to work together to mitigate the effects of oral cancer and the symptoms you feel in your daily life.
Here are some tips that can help you cope with oral cancer:
- Talk about how you are feeling with your friends and family.
- Ask your social worker and healthcare team at a dental care Houston as and when needed.
- Get a counselor or therapist and focus on your mental health. Focus on treating anxiety and depression with talk therapy or medicines.
- Keep yourself socially active. Ensure that you do not stay isolated during this difficult time.
- Being a part of a cancer support group can greatly help since you get to be around people who are going through the same thing as you.
Cancer treatment can also be a little hard on your body. To make sure that you stay healthy, you can:
- Consume a healthy diet.
- Get as much protein as you can.
- Drink plenty of liquids such as fresh fruit juices and water.
- Keep yourself physically active with some regular exercise like walking.
- Take as much rest as you need.
- Talk to your healthcare team about various ways that you can manage the side effects of the treatment.
Best dental offices in Houston offer a great opportunity for all of us to remember that when it comes to cancer, we all have a fighting chance with early detection. You need to focus on understanding the risks involved and get your dental appointment scheduled accordingly.