Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells (cancerous or malignant) divide uncontrollably and destroy body tissues. This illness is one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide and affects people of any age.
The mouth is one of the tissues of the body that can also be affected by the uncontrollably develop of abnormal cells. Mouth cancer can affect any part of the mouth, lips, gums, inside of the cheek, salivary glands, tongue, tonsils, throat, esophagus, etc.
Some risk factors that can lead to mouth cancer are:
- The exposure to ultraviolet rays, from sunbeds, sunlamps or the sun, can cause cancer in the lips
- Family history of cancer
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV), a virus that is sexually transmitted
- Frequent consumption of alcohol. The heavy use of alcohol makes you prone to develop mouth cancer
- Cigarettes, pipes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco, snuff or any other kind of tobacco use. Most of the mouth cancers patients are tobacco consumers
- Frequently consuming tobacco and alcohol at the same time
- Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- A weak immune system
- A non-balanced diet rich in red and processed meat and fried foods
The signals that indicate mouth cancer can be:
- Mouth bleeding without any apparent reason
- The apparitions of sores in the neck, mouth or face that doesn’t heal easily and may also bleed
- Feeling numbness, pain or tenderness in your mouth, face or neck
- Dramatic weight loss
- Losing teeth without any apparent dental cause
- Ear pain
- Sore throat
- Tongue pain
- The sensation of having something stuck in the throat
- Lesions in the mouth or lips
- Difficulties to speak, chew or swallow.
- Complications to move your jaw or tongue
- Swellings that doesn’t heal easily
Some of the procedures to treat cancer are:
This treatment consists in the surgical removal of the cancerous or malignant tumor and the tissue around it.
The goal of this treatment is to damage the DNA of the cancer cells to avoid its reproduction using powerful medicines.
Targeted Drug Therapy:
The chemotherapy treatment causes damages to the cancer cells but it also can affect other cells, causing serious side effects. The targeted drug therapy consist of drugs that target and attacks only the malignant cells that cause cancer.
This treatment employs beams of high-energy X-rays or radiation particles to attack the DNA found inside the tumor cells and avoid its reproduction.
Mouth Cancer Prevention
In order to prevent suffering from mouth cancer you must:
- Avoid consuming alcohol at all or al least avoid to do it in excess
- Protect yourself from the rays Ultraviolet avoiding the exposure to sunbeds and using sunscreen also on the lips
- Keep a healthy and balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, fruit, fish, whole grains, etc
- Avoid the excessive consumption processed meats
- Exercise regularly
- Check your mouth, lips, gums and the back of your throat regularly using a bright light to verify that you don’t have any of the mouth cancer symptoms.