Cancer is usually defined as the uncontrollable growth of cells that destroy surrounding tissue. Oral cancer includes any cancer found in the oral cavity including the lips, throat and tongue. It can be a very aggressive form of the disease so early detection is vital to successful treatment.
Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women, particularly men over the age of 45. Other high risk factors include people who are heavy drinkers and smokers. In fact smokers are a massive 600 times more likely to suffer from the condition as non-smokers. There are strong links between alcohol consumption and oral cancer, especially for those consuming more than the recommended weekly amount. However, it is important to remember that oral cancer can strike at any time to anyone, even the most abstemious of people, so never be complacent.
The signs of oral cancer are usually small white or red sores in the mouth that will not disappear on their own after two weeks or so. Similar to mouth ulcers, the sores are sensitive to hot and cold food and drink and can be very painful. Re-occurring sores could also be a sign. Other symptoms include sudden and unexplained weight loss and bleeding from the gums.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or have any unexplained soreness in the mouth make an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible. A Weston-super-Mare dentist will be able to take a swab biopsy of any suspicious looking sores and is trained to spot the early signs of oral cancer. Patients who receive early treatment for oral cancer have a greater than 80 per cent chance of making a full recovery so you have no time to waste.