Oral cancer is a cancer of the mouth. It is a particularly dangerous cancer that starts in the cells that line your mouth and throat area. There are many different causes of oral cancer (smoking, drinking, HPV, etc.) but regardless of the cause, if oral cancer can be fatal if left untreated. Here are four facts about oral cancer that you may not know:
Oral Cancer Stages
Oral cancer is divided into stages, similar to other types of cancer. In these stages, the tumor is indicated and accessed based on severity. The TNM staging system is used here:
- T indicates tumor size
- N indicates If the tumor has spread to lymph nodes
- M indicates if the tumor has spread to other parts of your body
Once cancer is detected in someone, various different tests will determine the stage of the cancer. These tests include:
- CT Scan
- MRI Scan
- PET Scan
Smokers and Heavy Drinkers
Smokers and heavy drinkers have the highest risk of developing oral cancer. People who smoke and drink excessively in combination are up to 100 times more likely to develop oral cancer than those who do not.
Spending too much time in the sun is a risk factor for oral cancer. It can be easily avoided in order to prevent you from getting lip cancer that develops into a spreading oral cancer. Stay out of the sun, wear sunscreen and SPFs, and avoid tanning salons to further protect yourself.
Early diagnosis is the key to oral cancer survival. A high percentage of people with oral cancer survived the illness and treatment due to an early diagnosis.
You can get screened for oral cancer by visiting your dental hygienist. This is the only way to determine whether you have oral cancer and the only way to begin treatment for it. By diagnosing it early, a dental professional can then help you back on your way towards a healthy mouth. To get an oral cancer screening from a dental hygienist in Vaughan, call us today at 410.835.5002 or visit the Maple dental Hygiene care website to book an appointment: