Did you know that approximately 35,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year? Elliott Ostro oral surgeon is one of the most trusted professionals in the field, and he and the rest of the staff at Dr. Ostro’s office are here to give you the valuable information you need to know about oral cancer. Firstly, it is important to know exactly what oral cancer refers to. Oral cancer involves both cancers of the mouth, and of the pharynx—which is the back of the throat. Oral cancer accounts for about two percent of all cancers diagnosed in the United States. Oral cancer occurs most often in patients over the age of forty, and it occurs twice as often in men than women.
There are several lifestyle habits and other factors that can increase your risk of developing oral cancer. The use of tobacco and alcohol greatly increases your risk. In fact, most cases of oral cancer are in some way linked to cigarette smoking, heavy drinking habits, or the two put together. Using both tobacco and alcohol puts you at a much greater risk than using one of them alone. Another risk factor is if you have been infected with HPV, or human papillomavirus. Age is another risk factor. Your chance of developing oral cancer increases as you grow older. Excess sun exposure can increase your risk of developing cancer of the lip, and so you should use lip balm with sunscreen each day to protect your lips from UV rays. Finally, a diet low in fruits and vegetables can also increase your risk of developing oral cancer.
There are several symptoms associated with the development of oral cancers. If you notice any of the following symptoms, you should set up an appointment with Elliott Ostro oral surgeon as soon as possible: a sore, irritation, lump or thick patch in your mouth, lip, or throat, a white or red patch in your mouth, feeling like something is stuck in your throat, difficulty chewing or swallowing, difficulty moving your jaw or tongue, numbness in your tongue or mouth, swelling of the jaw, or pain in the ear without hearing loss. Visiting Dr. Ostro at the first sign of symptoms, like most cancers, makes it easier to treat and increases your chance of recovery.