As we know, cancer patients have a hard time getting good oral care.
And while there are some things we can do to help, we need to get the right treatment and follow the right steps to get there.
Here’s what we need you to know about oral cancer care:What is oral cancer?
Oral cancer is a skin cancer that affects the mouth, throat, tongue, and gums.
The main type of oral cancer is oral carcinoma.
The symptoms of oral cancers can range from mild to life-threatening.
When to see a doctorHow to tell if you have oral cancerWhat you need to know to get betterOral cancers are common.
About 50 million people in the United States are affected by oral cancers, which include more than 500,000 cancer cases.
Most people have oral cancers within one to three years of diagnosis.
However, there is a higher risk for some cancers to develop later in life.
If you have a family history of oral tumors, you are at increased risk of developing oral cancers.
There are many different types of oral health problems, and there are a few things that can help determine if you or someone you know has oral cancer:• A history of cancer-related pain• A family history (such as a mother or father who has had a child with a different type of cancer)• A current or past history of having a history of gum disease or oral cancer in the mouth• A recent history of a high-risk oral cancer (such a throat, esophagus, tongue)• An oral disease history such as diabetes, diabetes mellitus, oral cancer, or polyps in the throat or throat mucosa that affects your gums or mouth or gums that is caused by a different oral cancerSource: CDCThe signs and symptoms of your oral cancer include:• Pain in your mouth or throat• Severe or prolonged coughing and/or sneezing• Loss of appetite• Difficulty swallowing• Difficulty eating or breathing• Difficulty breathing• Loss of appetite or appetite changes in response to medication or exercise• Decreased appetite or weight loss• Seizures• Swollen glands in your face or neck• Weakness in your throat muscles• Losing appetite for food or drinkSource: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesThe signs or symptoms of a benign oral cancer usually improve within three to five years after diagnosis.
The most common type of benign oral cancers is squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which is a cancer of the squamous epithelium (outer layer of skin) that grows on the outside of the mouth and around the gums and oral cavity.
It is more common in older people.
It can also affect the gingival and mucosa in the upper part of the gizzard (the layer of mucosa surrounding the teeth).
In most cases, it doesn’t cause symptoms and most people recover from the cancer in about two to four years.
In rare cases, SCCs can cause cancerous growths on the inside of the teeth.
The symptoms are usually mild or moderate and are usually painless.
they can cause problems with speech and swallowing.
Symptoms can also be a result of certain infections or certain conditions.
How to get good oral cancer treatmentWhat you should know to make the right diagnosisIf you or anyone you know had a benign SCC, you should ask your doctor to give you a blood test to see if there is any evidence of the cancer.
A blood test is an easy and inexpensive way to confirm whether you have cancer or not.
What you will need to doWhen you get the test, the doctor will look at your results and tell you if you need any tests, or if the test is negative.
Your doctor will also ask if you’re at high risk of getting a SCC.
If you have been diagnosed with a benign cancer, your doctor will perform a colonoscopy to perform a cancer biopsy.
The biopsy will show the cancer cells and tell your doctor about the type and location of the tumors.
If you do have a benign tumor and you’re not yet sure, you can talk to your doctor and ask about treatment options.
Sometimes, treatment is prescribed by your doctor as part of a longer-term treatment plan.
Your doctor will prescribe a treatment plan that includes surgery to remove the cancer, radiation therapy to control the cancer and/ or chemotherapy.
This treatment plan is usually the only way to achieve a cure.
How long will you have to wait to get a cure?
Most cancers respond better to treatment when it’s started sooner.
For example, if you had a cancer when you were in your teens, you may have a more aggressive form of cancer and likely need treatment now to stop it.
Treatment can be delayed up to five to 10 years after the diagnosis, depending on the type of disease.
Sometimes, people who have a disease like oral cancer can get treatment more