Based on data from the World Health Organization (WHO), there are about 650 thousand cases of oral cancer found every year, and more than half of them lead to death from this disease.
Most oral cancers are squamous cell carcinomas that tend to spread quickly. However, often oral cancer patients do not feel symptoms, so this condition is usually only detected when it has entered an advanced stage.
When it has entered a further stage, oral cancer can show symptoms in the form of canker sores, reddish or whitish spots in the mouth that do not improve in more than 2 weeks, growing lumps in the mouth, numbness or pain in the mouth, and difficulty swallowing or speaking.
Oral cancer forms when cells in the mouth, including the tongue, gums, and lips, undergo genetic mutations. These changes make cells continue to grow and multiply until they form cancer.
It’s unclear what causes cells in the mouth to mutate, but there are several factors that can increase a person’s risk for developing oral cancer. One of them is if there is a biological family who has had cancer.
In addition to a family history of cancer, this disease is also more at risk in people who have the following risk factors:
In order not to get oral cancer, avoid some of the risk factors, by quitting smoking, reducing alcohol consumption, avoiding risky sexual behavior, getting HPV vaccination, and routinely checking dental and oral health to the dentist.
In addition, do not forget to routinely do oral examinations independently at home. The trick, look at the oral cavity using a mirror and notice whether there are lumps, spots or canker sores, as well as long-healing wounds in the tongue, lips, palate, and oral cavity.