7 Mouth cancer symptoms you can not ignore
Any disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth, generating abnormal neoplastic cells and the ability to invade other organs, is called cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute (INCA), 15,490 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed per year in Brazil, which makes the disease a public health problem. "The regions most affected are the posterior part of the tongue, the buccal floor, the cheeks, the gums, the roof of the mouth and the retromolar trigone region, the one behind the molar teeth" , list Carina Esteves Duarte (CRO-SP 95983), a dentist at the Heart Hospital of São Paulo (HCorOnco) and a doctor in pathology and stomatology.
The symptoms of oral cancer, as will be seen below, are subtle. Therefore, it is common for the disease to be detected at an advanced stage, according to Carina. "Oncologist Artur Malzyner (CRM-SP 20456), scientific consultant at Clinonco (Clinic of Medical Oncology) and physician of the Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, recalls that the more initial the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed, the greater the chances of cure. "When you notice any of the symptoms, you should see a dental surgeon who specializes in stomatology, a the otolaryngologist, or a general practitioner.You do not have to wait for a set of symptoms.Only one, alone, is enough reason ", says the oncologist.
Attention to the symptoms!
The dental surgeon Carina Esteves Duarte and the oncologist Malzyner indicate seven symptoms of mouth cancer that can not be ignored in any way:
A wound that does not heal in two weeks
It is common not to pay attention, thinking it is just an insistent cold, but any injury to it type that does not heal in 14 days is a symptom of cancer of the mouth.
Increased gum volume or tongue
It is not the nature of the gum or tongue to have increased volume without reason. If this occurs, a specialist should be sought.
Sudden bleeding anywhere on the lips or mouth
Unless there has just been an accident in the area - a hit on some surface, for example - no it is normal for the mouth to bleed even during a stronger brushing. All of the bleeding should be investigated.
"Many are related to benign lesions, so clinical evaluation is necessary for a better diagnosis," says Carina. Artur agrees, "Most bleeding gums are related to gingivitis and periodontitis, but this has to be confirmed by a doctor."
Carina highlights whitish or reddish plaques, as well as blackened spots, as warning signs for mouth cancer. They are small lesions, Arthur explains: they are usually between 0.5 cm and 1.5 cm in length.
White spot and / or ulcer on the lip
Specific white lip symptoms are white spots and ulcers. It is important to check quickly whether it is a cancerous lesion, to start treatment and to prevent metastasis (migration) to other parts of the mouth.
Nodules in the mouth and / or neck
Lumps are symptomatic for cancer as a everything. When located somewhere in the mouth or neck, as pointed out by Carina, they are symptomatic for mouth cancer.
Discomfort in the use of previously used prostheses
The dental prosthesis - a jacket, bridge or denture - is tailor-made, to be comfortable. The normal thing is that it is used without pain for a long time and is only changed if it breaks or suffers great wear over the years. If something starts to bother you, you need to check what's going on.
"In general, there is a small tumor that makes the placement of this prosthesis uncomfortable," analyzes Artur.
Risk factors and how to prevent them
The classic risk factors for mouth cancer are smoking and consumption of alcoholic beverages. In addition, in recent years there has been an increase in the incidence of the disease associated with the sexually transmitted virus HPV. On the lips, exposure to UVA and UVB rays without the use of a suitable sunscreen is an extra risk factor.
"Because it is a disease closely linked to lifestyle, the best prevention of oral cancer is to avoid risk factors, "says Arthur. According to the oncologist, oral hygiene can also be a strong ally in combating the disease. "The negative action of the body's substances that act on mouth cancer is usually more intense in poor hygiene environments," he explains.
Carina therefore recommends that the teeth be brushed four times a day with a soft brush, cream recommended by the dentist and flossing. Maintaining a diet rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals completes the proper care with the region.
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