April Cancer Awareness Part 2: Head, Neck and Oral Cancer Awareness

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
  • Nosebleeds
  • 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:

http://oralcancerfoundation.org/

http://www.spohnc.org/

Also if you haven’t already read the previous posts please take the time out to go read!

https://twistofamillennia.wordpress.com/2013/02/04/world-cancer-day-my-moms-other-vision-brought-to-light/

https://twistofamillennia.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/a-promise-kept-my-mothers-story/

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