Oral cancer occurs when an uncontrollable growth of cells swarm and invade body tissue. Most commonly, it will appear as a lingering lump, sore or growth within the mouth. If left untreated, oral cancer, which includes cancers of the jaw, palate, sinuses, roof and floor of the mouth, cheeks and throat, is fatal.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The most frequent symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Consistent, inexplicable bleeding of the mouth
- Swellings, bumps, lumps, growths, and/or rough spots along the gums, lips, and areas within the mouth
- Formation of coral pink patches within the mouth
- Any inexplicable numbness or pain in the mouth, throat or neck
- Sores that don’t heal within two weeks
- Chronic sore throat
- The feeling that something is lodged in the back of your throat
- A change in occlusion (bite)
- Drastic weight loss
If you have noticed any of these symptoms in your body, it’s essential that you consult immediately with a physician who can accurately diagnose you.
High Risk of Oral Cancer
Smokers are not the only people at risk of oral cancer. While tobacco products certainly raise your risk of oral cancer, more than 25% of oral cancer developments occur in non-smokers and occasional drinkers.
Still, the following people are at higher risk of developing oral cancer:
- Excessive consumers of alcohol – Oral cancer is nearly six times more common in those who engage in heavy drinking
- Genetics – A family history of oral cancer raises your risk level
- Cigarette and cigar smokers – Smokers are at a much greater risk of developing oral cancer than non-smokers
- Dramatic sun exposure at a young age
Diagnosing Oral Cancer
During your routine dental examinations, your dentist performs an oral cancer screening. If any irregularities in your oral pathology are noticed, your dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon.
Dr. Daria Hamrah obtained a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University where he studied oral cancer. Dr. Hamrah also trained at the University of Miami under Dr. Robert E. Marx where he received extensive training in tumor and reconstructive surgery of the head and neck, at one of the world’s top programs. For mouth and jaw tumor patients referred to him, he performs either a full-lesion biopsy or a partial biopsy. The tissue is then sent to a pathology lab that determines the tissue’s status.
Treating Oral Cancer
If caught early, oral cancer can be successfully treated. Like other cancers, surgery is required to remove the cancerous tissue and radiation therapy to destroy lingering cancerous cells.
If you live in Northern Virginia or the Greater Washington, D.C. area and require an oral cancer evaluation, please contact Dr. Hamrah today at Novasurgicare Phone Number 703-288-4495 to schedule your personal consultation. Put your family and yourself at ease with an oral cancer screening today.