There’s nothing good and everything bad about oral cancer except that you can defeat it. Oral cancer is cancer that develops in your mouth or throat tissues. More than 49,000 oral cancer cases are diagnosed every year in the United States. It occurs mostly in people over 40 years old. The worst thing about oral cancer is that it’s often discovered after it has spread to your neck. The key to surviving this cancer is early detection.
Luckily, the oral cancer survival rate is increasing. Your survival rate mainly depends on your decisions and behavior. So help yourself or your loved one fight oral cancer by getting useful information about it and general oral health.
Facts about Oral Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), oral cancer affects people differently. Let’s learn some quick facts about oral cancer.
- The survival rate has been increasing over the past 30 years.
- Males are twice more likely to get oral cancer than females.
- Oral cancer occurs most often in your gums, tonsils, tongue, and oropharynx.
- On average, the majority of people diagnosed with oral cancer are at the age of 62.
- Survivors can still develop another cancer in the throat, mouth, or lungs so follow-up examinations are important.
What Determines A Prognosis?
Your data helps determine your prognosis. Thanks to the latest advancements in treatments, the future is bright for those fighting oral cancer. That said, the following are the factors that can influence your oral cancer prognosis:
- Your pre-cancer health
- The stage and location of the cancer
- Cancer type
- Cancer cell traits
- The likelihood of cancer spreading throughout your body
- The way your cancer responds to treatment
How to Improve Your Prognosis
You should regularly visit your dentist twice a year for routine checkups. Regular oral cancer screenings are also crucial. The sooner you detect your cancer, the better your chance to treat it. A routine oral cancer screening will check your:
- Oral cavity
See your dentist right away if you notice any problems. Some common points of concern include:
- Lump in your mouth
- Persistent mouth sores
- Patches in the mouth
- Loose teeth
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Ear pain
- Chronic hoarseness
- Lump in your neck
- Numbness around lips, chin, or mouth
The Survival Rate of Oral Cancer
Overall, 60% of people with oral cancer will survive for 5 years or more. The possibility of surviving after treatment will increase for earlier stages. In fact, if you have stage 1 or 2 oral cancer, your five-year overall survival rate is typically between 70% and 90%. This makes early diagnosis and timely treatment most important.
What are the Risks of Oral Cancer?
You can prevent as well as get heavily affected based on your decisions. You will decrease your chances if you engage in alcohol, tobacco, or unprotected sex. If you are over 40, you can reduce your chances of being diagnosed with oral cancer by avoiding alcohol and tobacco, getting an HPV vaccination, and having protected sex.
So make sure to go for regular oral screenings and see your San Diego, CA Dentist promptly when you notice any irregularities in your mouth.