Like any other form of cancer, the sooner it is picked up the better the outcome for the patient. However, the problem with oral cancer is that around 70% of cases will not be detected until it has progressed to a more advance stage. Oral cancer, along with other oral conditions and diseases, are part of what your dental professional is looking for at each six monthly check up. This is why having regular check-ups is so important.
Where does oral cancer form and what are the symptoms?
Oral cancer can form in any area of the mouth or lips. This includes the cheeks, tongue, throat and tonsils. Symptoms of oral cancer can include lesions or lumps, ulcers that do not clear up in around 14 days and white or red patches in the oral cavity. It will initially be painless, but over time a burning sensation may become present as the cancer progresses.
Who is at the highest risk of oral cancer?
Anyone who smokes or uses any form of tobacco products will have an increased risk. Those who are heavy drinkers and anyone who has previously been diagnosed with cancer will also be more likely to suffer from oral cancer. The majority of cases or oral cancer occur in men, however in recent years the number of women suffering with tongue cancer has increased.