Oral cancer is not something anyone wants to face. As we’ll see in this article, early detection is key. You may be wondering about oral cancer treatment differences: early detection vs. late detection. We will go more into this below.
Oral Cancer Treatment Differences: Early Detection vs. Late Detection
When it comes to oral cancer and oropharyngeal cancer (mouth and throat), you can find them during a self-exam at home. In addition, doing a self-exam can also reveal cancer in its early stages. The symptoms can vary from pain in your ear to a toothache. There are also times when there aren’t any symptoms until it has spread. That’s why experts recommend to do a self-check of your mouth every month to see if you notice things such as lumps, sores or white patches. These exams are important for finding oral cancer early on. There are other symptoms such as unusual bleeding around gums, voice change, trouble swallowing or chewing, etc..
When it comes to the risks, a few include people who use alcohol or tobacco. The risk is greater for those over the age of 55, or anyone who has HPV. Men are also at a higher risk than women to contract oral cancer, as well as those who don’t practice good oral hygiene.
The Stages of Oral Cancer
When it comes to testing, your oral surgeon may do additional tests. One such test is Toluidine blue which, when spread over an area that looks abnormal, will turn blue. Another test is a laser light that reveals anything abnormal. If your surgeon finds something, we’ll take a biopsy to see if there are any pre-cancer or cancer cells.
The outcome of oral cancer or oropharyngeal cancer (mouth and throat) depends on what stage the cancer is upon being diagnosed. Basically, this is how much it has spread, etc., and also depends on what part of the mouth it is found. The stages range from 0 (the earliest abnormal cells are found) to stage IV (the most advanced stage).
The key for a positive outcome with oral cancer is early detection and treatment. It’s much harder to treat once the cancer has spread. Because many don’t think about this cancer, it can be missed. Schedule an exam if you have a sore mouth, localized pain, etc. that hasn’t cleared up in 14 days.