Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer and Prevention

//Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer and Prevention

Over the past few years, there has been a steady rise in oral cancer. It is estimated that nearly 54,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer by the end of 2022, of which 11,000 is estimated to lose their lives because of it. So, what is oral cancer, and how do you prevent it? Read along to learn more!

What are Oral Cavity Cancer and Oropharyngeal Cancer?

Oral Cancer is lumped under head and neck cancer and includes oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer. Oral cavity cancer is a blanket term interchangeable with mouth cancer, cancer located in the front portion of the mouth. It consists of the lips, gums, lining inside the cheeks, roof of the mouth, and the anterior part of the tongue. Oropharyngeal Cancer affects the oropharynx which includes the back part of the tongue, the tonsils, the soft palate, and the throat walls. While they affect different parts of the mouth, they both develop in the same manner. They form when cells in your mouth and your lips mutate into cancerous cells, dividing, growing, and consuming its surrounding.

What are the symptoms of Oral Cavity Cancer and Oropharyngeal Cancer?

The most common symptoms include the following:

  • Loose teeth
  • Mouth pain
  • Lip or mouth sores that won’t heal
  • A growth or lump inside your mouth
  • Jaw pain, stiffness, or swelling
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • White or red patches in the mouth

If you notice any of the following symptoms mentioned above, along with any other abnormalities in your mouth, we highly recommend visiting your local dentist. It’s important to note that while the symptoms listed are associated with oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer, they can also be related to other oral diseases. A biopsy is recommended for proper diagnosis.

Preventing Oral Cavity Cancer and Oropharyngeal Cancer

While the exact causes of oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer are unknown, there are a few known risk factors, including tobacco usage, excessive alcohol usage, and human papillomavirus (HPV). Below are a few preventative actions that can help reduce your chances of developing oral and oropharyngeal cancer.

  1. Abstain from the use of tobacco products, 85 % of oral and oropharyngeal cancer is correlated to tobacco products.
  2. Limit or avoid alcohol consumption.
  3. Use sunblock and UV-blocking products.
  4. Reduce the risk of HPV by using condoms or other preventative methods.
  5. Maintaining proper diet and nutrition.

Get Checked Today!

Another great way to reduce the risk of oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer is by visiting your local dentist regularly. Schedule an appointment with San Diego’s most trusted dental practice. Call us at (619) 444-1001, or click here to schedule an appointment. We are located at 707 Arnele Avenue, El Cajon, CA 92020.

2022-07-14T11:32:07-07:00Dental Blog|