Cancer prevention is action taken to lower the chance of getting cancer. By preventing cancer, the number of new cases of cancer in a group or population is lowered. Hopefully, this will lower the number of deaths caused by cancer.
To prevent new cancers from starting, scientists look at risk factors and protective factors. Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer risk factor; anything that decreases your chance of developing cancer is called a cancer protective...
Risk factors (things that increase your risk) for oral cancer include smoking (or using smokeless tobacco) and heavy alcohol use. Other risk factors are being male, using marijuana, or having human papillomavirus (HPV). For cancers of the lip, exposure over a long period of time to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun or from tanning beds increases risk.
Symptoms for oral cancer include sores or lumps on the lips or in your mouth. Talk with your doctor if you have any of these signs:
A sore on your lip or in your mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal
A lump or thickening on your lips, gums, cheek, or in your mouth
A white or red patch on your gums, your tongue, tonsils, or the lining of your mouth
A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in your throat
Unexplained difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving your jaw or tongue
Numbness or pain in your tongue or other areas of your lips or mouth
Swelling in your jaw that makes your teeth loose or your dentures fit poorly
Your dentist or doctor may look closely at your lips, mouth, or throat to check for signs of oral cancer. Other tests may be needed if there are possible signs of cancer, such as a biopsy, an X-ray, or an MRI.
Oral cancer is usually treated with surgery and radiation therapy. Your treatment will depend on the stage of your cancer and your other health factors. If the cancer is advanced, other treatments may be used. You may get chemotherapy. Or chemotherapy and targeted therapy may be used together.
You can find more information about oral cancer at the National Cancer Institute website www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/oral.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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