April is National Oral, Head and Neck Cancer Month
Oral Cancer- Also called Oral Cavity Cancer, is cancer that starts in the mouth.
Head & Neck Cancer- Cancer that starts in the head or neck region ( nasal cavity, sinuses, lips, mouth salivary glands, throat or larynx).
I have included a small video that shows the treament course of a patient diagnosed with base-of- tongue cancer: John’s Story
Here is a brief summary of facts about Oral Cancer:
- Some risk factors are smoking, drinking heavily, HPV ( Human Papillomavirus)and prolonged sun exposure.
- Almost all Oral cancer begins in the flat cells that cover the surfaces of the mouth.
Here is a brief summary of facts about Head and Neck Cancer:
- Cancer usually begins in the squamous cells that line the moist mucosal surfaces inside the head and neck ( Inside mouth, nose, throat).
- Risk factors include smoking, heavy drinking, and HPV ( Human Papillomavirus).
Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer:
- Patches inside mouth or on lips
- A sore in your mouth or on your lips that doesn’t heal
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding in your mouth
- Difficulty or pain when swallowing
- Difficulty wearing dentures
- A lump in your neck
- An earache that doesn’t go away
- Numbness of the lower lip and chin
Signs and Symptoms of Head and Neck Cancer:
- A lump or sore throat that doesn’t heal
- A sore throat that doesn’t go away
- Difficulty swallowing
- Frequent Headaches
- Ringing or pain in ears
- Sinuses that are blocked and do not clear
- Chronic sinus infections that do not respond to antibiotics
- Numbness or paralysis of the muscles in the face
Prevention- Early Detection:
Early detection is key
Doctors recommend self oral exams monthly to help prevent Oral cancer
Doctors recommend a yearly physical examination of the head and neck to help prevent Head & Neck Cancer
Helpful Links for more information:
Also if you haven’t already read the previous posts please take the time out to go read!