Cancer is a disease that is defined by the characteristic uncontrollable growth of human cells that encroach upon and damage the neighboring tissues. Oral cancer manifests itself as a sore or growth in the mouth that does not disappear naturally and claims the lives of nearly 10,000 Americans every year. These growths occur on/in the: tongue, lips, throat, sinuses, soft and hard palate, floor and roof of the mouth, and the cheeks.
Oral Cancer is a scary form of the disease that can cause the loss of your tongue, your lips, or even your life when not caught early enough in its development cycle. Close to 51,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year, and only 57% of individuals who are diagnosed with the disease survive 5 years past the diagnosis. The survival rate for oral cancer is particularly low because it is regularly discovered late into its cycle of growth.
Visiting your dentist every 6 months for an evaluation is critical in the early detection of this cancer. Regular screenings can help save your life.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Mouth cancer is characterized by a wide variety symptoms which may include:
Persistent sores that do not heal after 1-2 weeks. These sores can range from small, white patches to large red growths.
Bleeding in the mouth from sore or unknown source.
Painful or difficult chewing or swallowing
Chronic sore throat or persistent feeling that something is stuck in the throat
Consistent Neck or Ear Pain
These symptoms are not exclusive to oral cancer, but may indicate a serious health issue if they last longer than 2 weeks.
If you’ve been experiencing sores or bumps that are not healing after 1-2 weeks, then see a dentist as soon as possible. This could be the preliminary stages of mouth cancer.
A few factors can drastically increase your risk of oral cancer. These include:
Being a male. Men face double the risk of encountering oral cancer in their lifetime.
Age. Individuals who are over 50 years of age face an increased risk of developing cancers in the mouth.
Smokers. Smoking tobacco products makes the development of oral cancer over 5x more likely to occur.
Chewing Tobacco. Using dip or chewing tobacco drastically increase your risk of encountering oral cancer.
Extreme Sun Exposure. Exposing your lips to the sun for excessive amounts of time can lead to oral cancer, especially in younger individuals.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Having HPV increases your risk for developing a number of different cancers, including mouth cancer.
Excessive Alcoholism. Consuming an excessive volume of alcoholic beverages can put you at greater risk for encountering many diseases, including oral cancers.
Genetics. If your family has a history with cancer, then you may be at greater risk for developing cancer of the mouth.
Treatment of Oral Cancer
Similar to the treatment of many other cancers, oral cancer is typically treated with surgical removal of the growth which is then supported by chemotherapy or radiation therapy to remove any of the remaining cancerous cells. Prevention is the best solution for all forms of cancer. Understand which risk factors you fall under, and seek treatment if you suspect anything is amiss.
At Carson & Carson, our two dentists have over 60 years of combined experience and have extensive experience identifying cancerous growths of the oral cavity. We use state of the art dental CT scans and decades of experience to quickly identify oral cancers. Call today and schedule an appointment with an expert Oxnard dentist (805) 983-0717. Visit our common dental problems page to learn about other common dental health issues.
I have had a lot of procedures including 8 implants. There is no better dentist office than Carson and Carson. Dr. Derek Carson (the son of Dr. Leroy Carson) is FANTASTIC! He has learned well from his father (who still works there). Papa is the MAN!, and has been for years. Insane amount of knowledge. The Doctors are THE BEST! The support staff is fun and professional always. I will never go anywhere else.
A dentist that truly understands how much the whole dental trip petrifies me - and helps me overcome it. For the first time, and certainly not the last, he used nitros oxide and I can honestly say I can look at future visits without abject terror. No more waiting until the tooth needs pulled! I may even get my teeth cleaned.
The BEST dental office in Ventura County!! Super friendly staff, easy to schedule appts, no issues with insurance processing, and Dr. Carson makes sure you are always comfortable and pain-free when getting any work done. I've been a patient for over 7 years now and I couldn't be happier! I highly recommend!
This dental office is beyond professional. A landmark of our city, to say the least. Dr. Carson has been serving our community for quite some time, with true care and concern for his patients. If you want a true dental experience, then I would highly advise you to make an appointment with them 🙂
Dr. Derek, you have a hand and a heart of gold. That spirit of help that you have is praiseworthy. I'm amazed at all the treatment you've done and I feel no pain after, not even the pain of the anesthesia sting, I say with propriety because I am very sensitive to pain. Congratulations on your work that loves what you do so you have been successful, not counting on your last generation machine that I do not know how to explain. Much gratitude, you're the best.
Today I had a procedure wisdoms teeth extracted with Dr Derek Carson. All staff it was the kindest people ever they stayed room and for the all time asking how I was feeling. The Dr was absolutely amazing! I had several shots and no leave one I feel it and about the extraction when I was thinking he will start it he ready did the extraction out me feeling any pain absolutely any discomfort. I had rest of my day as a normal day and not swallowing.I really want to thank you Dr Derek Carson to be an amazing Dentist so gentle and very professional with absolutely confidentiality.I highly recommended this office if you need to visit just for your regular cleaning or any procedure. Thank you very much!
Both doctors, father and son (Dr. Leroy and Dr. Derek), are the best of the best. I have been to different dentists due to change on my insurance coverage, but i keep coming back to Carson and Carson (even if it means paying out of pocket) because they take care of the issues others can not or are not willing to. Furthermore, the staff is truly amazing, friendly, knowledgeable, professional. I am in good hands, my family's hands.
Both doctors, father and son (Dr. Leroy and Dr. Derek), are the best of the best. I have been to different dentists due to change on my insurance coverage, but i keep coming back to Carson and Carson (even if it means paying out of pocket,) because they take care of the issues others can not or are not willing to. To be honest, their fees are actually low and their work far superior compared to other dentists. Furthermore, the staff is truly amazing, friendly, knowledgeable, professional. I am in good hands, my family's hands.