Mouth Cancer: What Is It And How Can I Prevent It In My Family?

Mouth canceris one of those things we all don’t want to think about. Many of us have had family or friends affected by cancer. Some of us avoid having checkups for fear of hearing we have cancer or fear that it might upset our family. Some individuals think “I’ll never get cancer.”

But I’d like to challenge you to change your thinking. Early detection of mouth cancer might save your life. Unfortunately oral cancer is on the rise.

Mouth cancer is found in men 3 times more often than women. In fact oral or mouth cancer is the seventh most common cancer found in men. Mouth cancer used to be a cancer found primarily in older people over the age of 60. Michael Douglas the actor has recently completed treatment for throat cancer. According to a report on ABC News, it is thought Douglas’ cancer may be connected with his years of smoking and alcohol consumption.

But oral cancer isn’t just limited to those over 60 today. In fact, more mouth cancer is being found in younger people every day. Part of this is thought to be the increased used of smokeless or chewing tobacco products by younger adults, especially younger males.

Why Are Screenings A Part Of Dental Check- ups?

Oral cancer screenings are part of every dental check up. This is critical as early detection of oral cancer is linked to a survival rate of almost 81%, late detection drops the survival to 17%.

What Causes Mouth Cancer?

We are not actually sure of the definite cause of oral cancer. It is known these factors which increase one’s chance of oral cancer include:

  • family history,
  • use of smoking and chewing tobacco,
  • high alcohol consumption,
  • dietary habits, and
  • viral infections.

What Are The Signs Of Mouth Cancer?

The signs of oral cancer include the following:

  • sore in the mouth that does not heal and bleeds easily
  • burning sensation, pain, numbness in the mouth or tongue
  • feeling like something is stuck in the throat
  • change in texture of tongue
  • white or red patch on gums or tongue
  • discoloration of lip area, a browning
  • lump or swelling of jaw, neck or oral tissues
  • thickening or swelling of soft mouth tissues

What Can You Do To Decrease Your Chances Of Oral Cancer?

There are several things you can do or a family member can do to decrease their chances of mouth cancer. These include:

  • Eating a healthy diet which includes enough Vitamins A, E, C and also iron. These vitamins and iron help healthy tissue keep rebuilding itself and staying healthy.
  • Decreasing or eliminating smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Decreasing or eliminating alcohol use

Early detection can make the difference between a loved one being around for many years. Oral cancer checks don’t hurt, but they can make the difference in early detection and survival. Make your appointment today, and get your check up for mouth cancer.