Oral Cancer Becoming Increasingly Prevalent Among All Adult Age Groups

According to statistics, there is an exceptionally high incidence rate of oral cancer among older adults. However, in recent years, the prevalence of this potentially devastating disease has increased among all adult age groups. oral cancer prevalence

Each year, approximately 50,000 adults in the United States will receive an oral cancer diagnosis. The cancer will result in nearly 10,000 deaths, at an average of approximately one person each hour, of each day.

Only half of all diagnosed within a year live for an additional five years. In fact, the death rate of oral cancer is significantly higher than that of cancers that invade the cervix, larynx, the thyroid, and male reproductive system.

In this medical guide, you will learn about oral cancer and why it is becoming so common among adults of all ages within the United States.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer refers to the presence of cancerous cells within and around the mouth region. This includes the lips, the gum tissue, the tongue, the inner area of the cheeks, the floor of the mouth, as well as the roof of the mouth.

In some instances, the term “oral cancer” refers, specifically, to cancer that is located on the interior region of the mouth.

Why is the Death Rate of Oral Cancer so High in the United States?

Many mistakenly believe that oral cancer is difficult to identify and/or diagnose. That is not the case. It is relatively easy to discover and simple to diagnose. The main reason that the death rate is so high in the United States is because it is often discovered at a late stage in its development.

In part, this is due to the fact that there is no screening program that is used to routinely inspect for oral cancer. Additionally, the development and spread of the HPV16 virus is contributing to the development of oral cancer; specifically, in the obscure areas of the mouth, such as the tonsils, the base region of the tongue, and the oropharynx.

Due to this, the lesions that are often present with the cancer are not observed until the later stages of development. While there is no routine program that focuses on identifying oral cancer, patients may obtain an oral cancer screening from a dental professional to identify the presence of the disease.

What are the Symptoms and Signs of Oral Cancer?

Many individuals that experience the symptoms and signs that are common with oral cancer may mistakenly believe them to be a result of an earache, a cold, the flu, or even a toothache.

Any unusual symptoms and signs should be evaluated immediately if they continue for longer than a few days – just to ensure that cancer is not to blame.

The following outlines the most common signs and symptoms that cancerous cells may be present within the oral cavity of the body:

  • The presence of a sore in the mouth that does not seem to be healing appropriately
  • Pain in and around the mouth and surrounding regions
  • Thick skin or the presence of a lump in the cheek area of the mouth
  • Patches that are white or red in any location within the mouth cavity
  • A sore throat
  • The feeling as if something is caught within the throat or the throat cannot be cleared
  • Complications in chewing and/or swallowing
  • Problems in moving the tongue around or the jaw
  • Numbness at any interior location of the mouth
  • Inflammation/swelling within the mouth, particularly the jaws
  • A tooth or several teeth becoming loose
  • Changes in the voice
  • The presence of a lump within the neck area
  • Bad breath that does not seem to go away
  • Unexplained weight loss

Oral Cancer Screenings

All adults have the potential to develop oral cancer – regardless of age. Once an issue that was only common among the elderly, oral cancer rates for those under the age of 45 are increasingly significantly.

This is especially true for patients that use tobacco, consume alcohol heavily, are exposed to the sun in excessive amounts, have been diagnosed with the human papillomavirus, or have a weakened immune system.

You should see your dental provider regularly for routine examinations. We here at American Dental of LaGrange offer comprehensive oral cancer screenings in LaGrange. For more information, simply call us today at: 706-837-0123

 

Leave a Reply