Why Is Annual Oral Cancer Screening Important?

Oral CancerCheck This Out! Did you know that Oral cancer is as common as leukemia or blood cancer and kills more Americans each year than either skin or cervical cancer?

Read quickly and find more information on Oral cancer.

Dreadful! Patients with oral cancer have a poor prognosis, and the 5-year survival rate of approximately 50% has remained unchanged for the past 50 years.

Unfortunately perhaps the single most important reason for this is the fact that oral cancers continue to be diagnosed in advanced stages.

Research studies have repeatedly demonstrated when the diagnosis is established in early stages that the survival rate for oral cancer patients increases dramatically.

Origin! Oral cancer is part of a group of cancers called head and neck cancers. Oral cancer can develop in any part of the oral cavity or oropharynx. Most of this type cancer begins in the tongue and in the floor of the mouth.

Almost all oral cancers begin in the flat or squamous cells that cover the surfaces of the mouth, tongue, and lips. These cancers are called squamous cell carcinomas.

Metastasizes! When oral cancer spreads, it usually travels through the lymphatic system. Cancer cells that enter the lymphatic system are carried along by lymph which is a watery clear fluid. The cancer cells often appear first in nearby lymph nodes in the neck.

How It Starts? This cancer starts as a tiny, unnoticed white or red spot or sore anywhere in the mouth. It can affect any area of the oral cavity including the gum tissue, cheek lining lips, tongue and the hard or soft palate.

Other signs include:

  • A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
  • A color change of the oral tissues
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
  • A change in the way the teeth fit together
  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips

Let’s see its risk factors:

  • Oral Cancer most often occurs in those who use tobacco in any form.
  • Alcohol use combined with smoking greatly increases risk.
  • Prolonged exposure to the sun increases the risk of lip cancer.

Surprisingly more than 25% of oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke and have no other risk factors!

The Latest Oral Cancer Therapy includes Biotherapies. Let’s look into what are biotherapies and research

Research into the mechanisms has yielded new exploration into oral cancer therapy based on the molecules and genes involved in the cancer process. Mechanisms include every phase of how a cancer develops is potentially an avenue to finding a new oral cancer therapy for treatment.

Apoptosis a process of cell suicide, genetic “cocktails” whose ingredients could stimulate immune system activity that was specific to a particular tumor, angiogenesis inhibitors, viruses that only kill specific cancer cells and techniques which would allow the replacement of a damaged p53 gene, are all being researched now.

It is possible that in our lifetimes we will see cures for cancer develop from this ongoing research. Great News!

Generally oral Cancer is more likely to strike after age 40. Studies suggest that a diet high in fruits and vegetables may prevent the development of potentially cancerous lesions. The most important precautionary measure is Regular Dental Check-ups.