"Oral cancer" is a somewhat conglomerate term, taking under its broad umbrella of meaning cancer of the throat, tonsils, tongue, mouth, and lips. Nor is it true that all oral cancers stem from the same cause. For example, lip cancer is often connected with excessive exposure to the sun's UV rays, while smoking, drinking alcohol, poor oral health, hereditary factors, and more account for the likely causes of other forms of oral cancer.
With around 50,000 people newly diagnosed with some form of oral cancer per year, and some 10,000 succumbing to oral cancer annually, it's important for everyone to get a regular oral cancer screening.
With some 50,000 people newly diagnosed with some form of oral cancer every year and around 24 people dying of oral cancer in the US every day (one every hour of the day), it should be obvious why oral cancer awareness and prevention are important concerns.
Keeping up good oral health can reduce your risks of a wide variety of dental and periodontal problems, but it may or may not prevent oral cancer.
Oral cancer, like other cancers, is a life threatening conditions. It needs to be caught as early as possible to maximize the chances of successful treatment. Treatment is by surgical removal of affected tissues, followed by radiation and/or chemotherapy.
Oral cancer can affect all areas of the mouth, tongue, lips, sinuses, and throat. It is a very dangerous condition that is not nearly as rare as people think or as we would like to believe.
Many times, sores thought to be possibly cancerous turn out to be only a sign you need periodontal treatment or need to exercise better dental hygiene. But any mouth sore that persists for more than a couple weeks and is causing you concern is worth getting checked out by a professional periodontist with experience in diagnosing oral cancer and in distinguishing it from less serious conditions.