- On 22 April, 2021
More than 70% of oral cancer cases are preceded by precancerous oral lesions. To better understand this data and its context, we have compiled some key points to learn how to better detect the origin.
The importance of prevention
Regular dental visits and self-examination reduce the malignancy rate by between 90% and 100% of cases. It should be taken into account that it is one out of the 10 cancers with the highest incidence, and that 50% of cases are diagnosed late..
It is in the latter cases where the mortality rate increases notably. Therefore, it is essential to have a prevention routine with regular visits to a specialist. Maintaining good oral hygiene also greatly reduces the risk of infection from previous injuries.
Where does it affect us and how do we detect it?
Oral cancer includes cancer of the lip and oral mucosa, tongue, base of the mouth, gingiva, hard palate, and saliva glands.
Most cases develop in visible and / or palpable areas. As alarm signals we have areas of bleeding or whitish, warty areas or ulcerations that do not remit in less than three weeks, and the presence of nodules.
Being attentive to the evolution of wounds with these symptoms is key to being able to correctly prevent a potential case, and stop the progress.
To carry out a correct examination, all you need is a good light source, a mirror, and the handle of a spoon to help us better visualize the surface and angles of the inner walls of the mouth. We must explore the inner part of the lips and palate.
In a complementary way, a balanced diet rich in vegetables and fresh fruit, fish and oils, particularly olive oil, helps to maintain a low risk.
Risk factors, paying attention:
As we have said, prevention is always a great option to avoid the progression of potentially more aggressive ailments. Let’s see some examples:
The risk of developing oral cancer is up to 20 times more prevalent in smokers, and in people who consume alcohol in excess. In fact, in 90% of cases it is due to a combination of both.
Excessive sun exposure without adequate protection also influences the development of lip cancer. Oral HPV infection increases the prevalence of oropharyngeal cancer by 15 times. There are also traumatic factors such as biting the cheeks or lips, or the erosions left by poorly adapted prostheses.
The keys to oral cancer treatment:
If necessary, and once the need for intervention is detected, treatment usually follows a combination of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
* The Rossell Carol center recommends the indications to achieve an early diagnosis of oral cancer, and therefore offers a free diagnostic visit and oral self-examination workshop.