Authored by Content Cookie in Diseases
Published on 01-27-2009
It is said that prevention is better than cure but like most types of cancer even oral cancer often goes unnoticed in its early stages. This is because the majority of people never ever go to a dentist except when there is a continuous gnawing pain in the teeth or gums. Till then the person relies on self medication or hardly ever bothers until the last moment as the mouth like most vital organs of the body has to be at work most of the time for talking, shouting, eating or drinking. A toothache or an ulcer in the mouth can be very uncomfortable. But people still hesitate to go to the dentist unless it gets worse or the pain becomes unbearable.
The best way to detect oral cancer is to go to the dentist for a periodical check up. This is good for your teeth and the dentist is sure to notice any signs of trouble that your mouth or oral cavity might show. If you think you can detect such signs yourself then you are mistaken for oral cancers look like ulcers, cold sores or appear in the form of slight discoloration of tissue. But your dentist would surely know the difference. If there is a lesion in your mouth and it doesn’t heal even after two weeks then chances are that it might turn out to be malignant. The dentist in this case would cut a part of the tissue and send it for biopsy for confirmation. The true nature of the cancer is revealed only then.
Oral cancer affects the lips, oral cavity and the oropharynx. It can be fatal if it goes unchecked and hence medication and radiation has to be resorted to. Also there are always chances of oral cancer to form again and spread in and around the surrounding areas and it might recur again in one’s lifetime.
After taking the first step of going to a dentist there are other ways of possibly keeping oral cancer at bay. Although many of these claims still need to be substantiated with detailed research, they have been found to have a reasonably beneficial effect on overall oral health. Maintaining high standards of oral hygiene, reducing alcohol intake and cutting down on chewing tobacco and smoking seems to significantly help in preventing oral cancer. Increasing the intake of fruits and vegetables in the diet and maintaining healthy dietary habits is believed to be equally beneficial. Studies have also revealed that nutrients present in avocados considerably lessen the risk of oral cancer too. It is advisable to avoid exposure to the suns harmful rays and use a sunscreen on the lips whenever you need to step out into the sun. Any indications of a sore or wound not healing warrants an immediate check up with an oral health professional.
In short, oral cancer is curable if detected early, but the best method is to avoid it by taking preventive steps as suggested above. And never forget; visit your dentist at least once in six months.