A general look at oral cancer
Oral cancer affects different parts of the body, including the lips, cheeks, tongue, hard palate and the floor of your mouth. When this cancer is not diagnosed early enough and the proper kind of treatment availed, it can have life threatening consequences.
Oral cancer: symptoms explained

Symptoms of this kind of cancer include swellings or thickenings, bumps or lumps, crusts/ sports or even eroded areas on gums, lips and in your mouth. The mouth also develops velvety white or red patches and unexplained mouth bleeding, loss of feeling, numbness, tenderness/ pain in areas of the neck, face, ear or mouth. Some also experience a lump on the neck, dramatic loss of weight, pain in the ear, chronic sore throat, change in voice and sourness. It is always important that you get in touch with your doctor right away for an examination just in case you notice such changes.

Oral factors: risk factors

Most of the cases of oral cancer are diagnosed in men and it is one of the most common types of cancers reported among men. Smoking is one of the risk factors of this condition, which includes smoking cigar, cigarette and even pipe smokers. In addition to this, smokeless tobacco users, especially those who chew or snuff tobacco are at great risks of getting oral cancer. This is also the same case for those who consume alcohol excessively even though not as much as among tobacco users. Other risk factors include poor dietary habits, excessive exposure to the sun, smoking marijuana and a history of oral cancer in the family.

Oral cancer: treatment options and prevention

Treatment of oral cancer is usually done by radiation alone or surgery alone when diagnosed in its early stages. When the cancer is more advanced, doctors can offer a combination of radiation and surgery and in more advanced cases, radiation may be combined with surgery and chemotherapy. As they always say, prevention is better than cure and it is essential that you take initiatives of preventing the cancer from happening rather than starting to hunt down prevention measures. To start with, you should avoid using any tobacco products and smoking as these habits are among the most serious risk factors of this disease.
If you have to drink alcohol, do so in moderation and avoid binge drinking at all costs. Eating a well balanced diet is essential and will go a long way towards preventing oral cancer; particularly taking vegetables that contain vitamin A. limit the amount of time in which you expose yourself to the sun as doing so can really cause lip cancer. Applying sun screens and protective lotions all over your skin is very important as well. People are also advised to get involved actively in detection of oral cancer by visiting their dentists and conducting self examination regularly.