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Oral Cancer Detection

Oral Cancer screening and Detection

Oral cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in Asia. It ranks number one in terms of all cancer incidence among men and third among women.

In India, because of cultural, ethnic, geographic factors and the popularity of addictive habits, the frequency of oral cancer is high. Several factors like tobacco and tobacco related products, alcohol, genetic predisposition and hormonal factors are suspected as possible causative factors

The Importance of Early Detection

The oral cancer 5 year survival rate is very low (20-50%). This is primarily due to late detection and hence late presentation of the case.
Therefore It becomes even more important to find oral cancer early when it can be treated more successfully.

Early detection of oral cancer is often possible. Tissue changes in the mouth that might signal the beginnings of cancer often can be seen and felt easily.

Warning Signs and symptoms

An annual screening for oral cancer is important, however in between even the smallest change in the mouth should be a cause of concern and should be reported to the dentist immediately. This includes:

  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth.
  • A sore or lesion in the mouth that does not heal within two weeks.
  • A lump or thickening in the cheek
  • Difficulty moving the jaw or tongue
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
  • Hoarseness, numbness of the tongue or other areas of the mouth.


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