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Oral Cancer Treatment In Phoenix & Ahwatukee, AZ

About, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Treatment & Prevention

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About Oral Cancer Phoenix Ahwatukee AZ

About Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is when a cancerous tumor develops in any part of the mouth, including the oral cavity and the oropharynx. The oral cavity includes the:

  • Lips
  • Upper and lower gums
  • Floor and roof of the mouth
  • Front two-thirds of the tongue

The oropharynx includes the:

  • Base of the tongue
  • Back of the mouth
  • Part of the throat
  • Tonsils

Most cases of oral cancer occur in adults between 50-75 years of age, and it is more common in men than women. Certain risk factors can cause younger adults to develop oral cancer. Here is a look at the risk factors, symptoms, treatments, and prevention of oral cancer.

Risk Factors

Several risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing oral cancer. Men are twice as likely to develop this type of cancer than women, and the average age of diagnosis is 62. Other risk factors include:

  • Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light – This exposure can cause cancer on the lips.
  • Genetics – Individuals who have a family history of oral cancer can develop this disease.
  • Tobacco use – Most patients affected by this disease have a history of smoking cigarettes or using chewing tobacco or snuff.
  • Alcohol – Heavy alcohol drinkers also account for most of the people diagnosed with oral cancer.
  • Human Papillomavirus Infection – An HPV infection can increase the risk for oral cancer in younger adults.
Oral Cancer Risks Phoenix Ahwatukee AZ
Oral Cancer Symptoms Phoenix Ahwatukee AZ

Oral Cancer Symptoms

Everyone deals with occasional pain and soreness in the mouth. Symptoms of oral cancer can mimic typical dental issues. You should always have any unusual pain or sore spots on your mouth checked out by a dentist so they can diagnose the problem.

Your dentist will perform an oral cancer screening as a part of your routine dental exam. They will check for any lumps, unusual or discolored tissue, and sore spots in your head, neck, face, and inside your mouth. They will conduct a biopsy if they find anything suspicious to determine the proper course of treatment.

Some of the symptoms of this type of cancer include:

  • Swelling, lumps, rough patches, or thickening on the lips or anywhere inside the mouth
  • A sore on the lips or inside the mouth that does not heal
  • Red, white, or speckled velvety patches in the mouth
  • Numbness, pain, or tenderness anywhere in the mouth, face, or neck area
  • Difficulty with speaking, chewing or swallowing
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Ear pain

First visit was wonderful. Quick availability for my appointment. Staff pleasant and helpful. All my questions answered. Thank you. Looking forward ( I can't believe I'm saying this about a dentist) to following procedures.

Laura L.Patient

Oral Cancer Treatments

Treatment options for oral cancer are the same as treating any other form of cancer. Your doctor will determine the best course of treatment based on the location and stage of cancer. They will also consider your overall health and personal preference for treatment. Treatment options include:

  • Surgery – A surgeon will cut away the cancerous tumor and any cancerous cells that have spread into the lymph nodes in your neck. After the surgery, the surgeon may recommend that you get reconstructive surgery to rebuild the mouth.
  • Radiation Therapy – A doctor will use a machine to send high-energy X-ray and proton beams into the body to kill the cancerous cells. They can also place radioactive seeds and wires inside the body near the cancerous cells. This type of therapy is used in the early stage of cancer or after surgery.
  • Chemotherapy – This treatment involves using chemical drugs to kill the cancerous cells. Doctors typically combine chemotherapy with radiation therapy.
  • Immunotherapy – The immune system is a natural disease-fighting system. Immunotherapy helps to strengthen the immune system to attack and destroy cancerous cells. Doctors often use this treatment in the late stage of oral cancer.
Oral Cancer Treatments Phoenix Ahwatukee AZ
Oral Cancer Prevention Phoenix Ahwatukee AZ

Prevention

Making healthy lifestyle changes is the best way to prevent oral cancer. These changes include no longer using tobacco or binge drinking. You can also start eating a balanced diet and limit your exposure to the sun. Also, see your dentist at least once a year and have them perform an oral exam. You can have a successful outcome when you detect oral cancer in the early stages. Contact Imagine Dental if you have any questions or concerns about oral cancer.

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