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The Doctor's Blog

Oral Cancer

Sofia Hernández - Thursday, February 16, 2017

National Institute of cancer calculates approximately 40.000 persons in United States would suffer oral cancer in 2012. Around 8.000 would have died from this illness.

Oral cavity includes lips, the lining of the cheeks, gums, front part of the tongue, floor of the mouth, throat and palate. The throat (pharynx) begins on the soft part of the palate and climbs down to the properly said throat. It includes the posterior section of the tongue as the base where it units with the floor of the mouth.

Some of the symptoms of oral cancer are:

  • Ulcers that easily bleed or that don’t heal
  • a thick or hard spot or a lump
  • a rough or crusted area
  • numbness or pain
  • a change in the way your teeth fit when you bite

Make sure to talk to your dentist about any problem that you have when chewing, swallowing, talking or moving your tongue or jaw.

Most of oral cancers are of the type called squamous cell carcinomas which tend to quickly disseminate.

Smoke and other uses of tobacco are associated with most of oral cancer cases. Excessive alcohol consumption also increase the risk of suffering oral cancer

Other factors that increase risk of suffering oral cancer are:

  • Chronic ribbing (caused for example by sharp teeth, dentures or fillings)
  • Human Papilloma Virus infections (HPV)
  • Taking medicines that weaken the immune system (immunosuppressants)
  • Poor oral hygiene

Some cases of oral cancer begin as a white plaque (leukoplakia) or as a mouth ulcer.


Generally surgical removal of the tumor is recommended if it is small enough. Surgery can be used in conjunction with radiation therapy and chemotherapy for larger tumors.

Oral cancer can be discovered w hen the dentist performs a routine cleaning or examination.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you have an injury in the mouth or lip or a lump in the neck that does not go away after a month. Regular visits to the dentist can improve possibilities that any suspicious change on your mouth health can be discovered on an early stage when oral cancer can be easier treated. Oral cancer diagnose and treatment opportunely highly increase surviving probabilities

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