Oral and pharyngeal cancer is a damaging disease that can eventually lead to death. If detected early, there is a high success rate for treatment of these diseases. Visiting a dentist regularly and receiving thorough examinations helps individuals determine problem areas that may indicate signs of cancer. Here are a few tips for detecting early signs of oral and pharyngeal cancer.
Warning Signs of Oral and Pharyngeal Cancer
Patients with lesions in the mouth, either white or red lesions, should seek an examination from a dentist if these do not subside after two weeks. These are strong indicators that cancer cells have begun to destroy healthy cells.
Other early indicators of cancer can be lumps or thickening of the tissues around the neck or mouth, soreness, feeling of something caught in the throat, pain around the ears, difficulty moving the jaw or tongue, numbness of the tongue, and swelling in the jaw.
Factors that Contribute to Cancers and How to Prevent Them
Smoking and alcohol abuse is the number one risk factor that contributes to these cancers. An article on cancer research conducted in 1988 published by the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland titled “Smoking and Drinking in Relation to Oral Pharyngeal Cancer” indicated that among those who consumed two or more packs of cigarettes a day and more than four alcoholic drinks per day increased their chances of receiving cancer by 35 times. Furthermore, the article goes on to state, “we estimate that tobacco smoking and alcohol drinking combine to account for approximately three-fourths of all oral and pharyngeal cancers in the United States.” Avoid smoking and limit drinking to decrease your risk for cancer.
Age can also contribute to an individual’s susceptibility to developing cancer. As we age, our immune system slowly grows weaker. This factor can be minimized by staying healthy throughout life: getting lots of rest, routinely exercising, and engaging in meaningful, genuine relationships with others.
Overexposure to the sun can increase an individual’s chances of contracting lip and skin cancer, which can spread to the mouth and throat, as well as increase the individual’s overall susceptibility to developing cancer. Ensure you pack SPF protection lotions and lip balm as preventive measures against cancer.
Diet is a great contributor in lowering and individual’s risk for cancer. Patients that maintain a diet of foods high in fat, sugar, and salt often fail to get the necessary nutrients for optimal health, which can decrease an individual’s ability to fight off diseases such as cancer. Maintaining a diet of whole foods and lots of leafy green vegetables can greatly improve an individual’s overall health, which aids in eliminating early cancer cells before they can become an issue.
Find Out More
At Dental Esthetics and Wellness Center, we put our patients’ health first. We provide comprehensive oral cancer screenings and genetic testing to help you earlier detect cellular abnormalities anywhere throughout the body to improve your chances of beating cancer. Call or visit Dr. Kathy Soleimani, and receive a complete evaluation of your health.