With each passing year, millions of Americans succumb to the awful disease that is cancer. A commonly forgotten type of cancer is gum cancer. However, with tens of thousands of cases annually, oral cancer should not be taken lightly. Today, we’re going to take a comprehensive look into all the information you need to know about this disease.
What Is Gum Cancer?
Gum cancer, otherwise known as oral cancer, is a harmful disease that impacts your gums. This type of cancer first appears due to uncontrollable cell growth in your gum region. From there, this uncontrollable cell growth results in the formation of a tumor or sore in the mouth. Often, this tumor is mistaken for a canker sore, toothache, or gingivitis, making oral cancer particularly difficult to detect.
On any given year, nearly 50,000 people will be diagnosed with some form of oral cancer. Of these individuals, around 10,000 will die. By in large, men typically suffer from oral cancer more frequently than women, as they are two times more likely to develop this form of cancer.
What Causes This Disease?
There are a few factors that increase your chance of developing oral cancer. Here are a few of them.
- If you have a family history of cancer, you’re at a higher risk of developing oral cancer.
- If you smoke, you have a greater chance of developing this disease.
- Too much exposure to the sun is one of the common causes of oral cancer.
- If you get infected with HPV, you’re more likely to develop this disease.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol may contribute to oral cancer.
You should be aware of the impact each of these factors can have on your likelihood of developing oral cancer. If you make just a few lifestyle changes, it’s possible to reduce the risk of developing oral cancer.
What Are The Common Signs And Symptoms Of This Form Of Cancer?
There are a significant amount of signs and symptoms present in individuals who develop oral cancer. Let’s examine a few common gum cancer symptoms:
- You may experience swelling throughout your mouth.
- There may be small sores on the inside of your mouth.
- One of the gum cancer symptoms you may experience is difficulty eating or swallowing your food.
- Many individuals with oral cancer report having blood in their mouth.
- You may develop white or red spots throughout your mouth.
- You may have a constant gag reflex, as if something is stuck in the back of your throat.
- Your gums may begin to crack, causing sensitivity.
- You may experience severe pain in the ear that does not subsist.
If you experience several of these gum cancers signs, be sure to get in contact with a medical professional immediately.
What Treatment Options Are There?
Although oral cancer is a severe disease, there are treatment options that can help individuals overcome this disease. The first step that individuals diagnosed with oral cancer must take is surgery. In this step, doctors seek to remove the malignant tumor in your mouth. Depending on which portion of your mouth is impacted, the surgery could be minor or severe.
The next step in the process is radiation therapy. During this step, doctors look to remove the remnants of the tumor that are still present after surgery. Radiation therapy seeks to inhibit the reproductive ability of malignant cells, preventing them from continuing to spread. This treatment is particularly effective for patients in the early stages of cancer.
Finally, the last step of the process is chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is typically used if the cancer is in the later stages of its development or if it has impacted a larger portion of the mouth.
What Preventative Measures Can I Take?
Fortunately, there are multiple preventative measures you can take to reduce the risk of developing gum cancer. Here are three tips:
1. First of all, look to limit how often you vape, smoke, and drink alcohol. Each of these factors increases the risk of oral cancer.
2. Always be sure to schedule regular dental and doctor appointments. Make sure to schedule screenings to check for the early signs of oral cancer.
3. Eat a well-balanced diet that stays away from fast food and processed foods.
Hopefully, this post has provided you with some valuable information about oral cancer, gum cancers signs, and the treatment options available for this disease. If you suspect that you or a family member has this form of cancer, be sure to visit a doctor immediately. If you’re looking for a dentist’s office that can help you detect the early signs of oral cancer, consider contacting us at Arizona Dental Specialists. Your text to link…