Early Detection of Oral and Esophageal Cancer

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Early Detection of Oral and Esophageal Cancer

Category : Dental

 

While incidence of oral and esophageal cancer represents just two percent of all cancer cases in the United States according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), it results in almost 8,000 deaths every year. The good news is that early detection and regular family dentistry care can help catch these types of cancer in the beginning stages when they are easiest to treat. Data from the NIDCR indicates that the five-year survival rate for oral and esophageal cancer is 83 percent before the disease has spread, and 32 percent among those whose cancer has spread. Here are the signs of oral and esophageal cancer you should be aware of, as well as factors that may raise your risk.

Warning Signs

The most characteristic symptom of oral cancer is leukoplakia (white lesions) and erythroplakia (red lesions). If you notice a red or white sore in your mouth that doesn’t heal within 2 weeks, talk with your doctor. Other symptoms of this illness may include:

the feeling of a lump or thickening in the throat

Trouble with chewing or swallowing

Ear pain

Decreased jaw or tongue mobility

Hoarse throat

Numbness in the mouth or throat

Poorly fitting dentures caused by swollen jaw

Anyone who experiences one or more of these symptoms for more than two weeks should seek medical attention.

Esophageal cancer is characterized by difficulty swallowing, unexplained weight loss, pain or pressure in the chest (often a burning feeling), chronic indigestion or heartburn, and coughing or hoarseness. However, these symptoms are often absent in the early stages of the disease. Those at high risk for esophageal cancer as described below should receive regular screening as recommended by their doctors.

Risk Factors

Certain individuals are at higher risk for oral and esophageal cancer. These include:

People who smoke and/or drink alcohol. Those who use both tobacco and alcohol are at a substantially higher risk

People infected with HPV

Those over the age of 40

Those who have had frequent, prolonged sun exposure

People with a diet low in fruits and vegetables

There are additional risk factors that apply specifically to esophageal cancer, including obesity, bile reflux, problems with the esophageal sphincter, gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, radiation treatment, and consumption of very hot liquids. Researchers think that damage to the esophagus can cause DNA changes that lead to cancer.

If you have one or more of these risk factors, talk with your family dentist or primary physician about the importance of early detection for oral and esophageal cancer and screening protocol that may be right for you.

While incidence of oral and esophageal cancer represents just two percent of all cancer cases in the United States according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), it results in almost 8,000 deaths every year. The good news is that early detection and regular family dentistry care can help catch these types of cancer in the beginning stages when they are easiest to treat. Data from the NIDCR indicates that the five-year survival rate for oral and esophageal cancer is 83 percent before the disease has spread, and 32 percent among those whose cancer has spread. Here are the signs of oral and esophageal cancer you should be aware of, as well as factors that may raise your risk.

Warning Signs

The most characteristic symptom of oral cancer is leukoplakia (white lesions) and erythroplakia (red lesions). If you notice a red or white sore in your mouth that doesn’t heal within 2 weeks, talk with your doctor. Other symptoms of this illness may include:

the feeling of a lump or thickening in the throat

Trouble with chewing or swallowing

Ear pain

Decreased jaw or tongue mobility

Hoarse throat

Numbness in the mouth or throat

Poorly fitting dentures caused by swollen jaw

Anyone who experiences one or more of these symptoms for more than two weeks should seek medical attention.

Esophageal cancer is characterized by difficulty swallowing, unexplained weight loss, pain or pressure in the chest (often a burning feeling), chronic indigestion or heartburn, and coughing or hoarseness. However, these symptoms are often absent in the early stages of the disease. Those at high risk for esophageal cancer as described below should receive regular screening as recommended by their doctors.

Risk Factors

Certain individuals are at higher risk for oral and esophageal cancer. These include:

People who smoke and/or drink alcohol. Those who use both tobacco and alcohol are at a substantially higher risk

People infected with HPV

Those over the age of 40

Those who have had frequent, prolonged sun exposure

People with a diet low in fruits and vegetables

There are additional risk factors that apply specifically to esophageal cancer, including obesity, bile reflux, problems with the esophageal sphincter, gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, radiation treatment, and consumption of very hot liquids. Researchers think that damage to the esophagus can cause DNA changes that lead to cancer.

If you have one or more of these risk factors, talk with your family dentist or primary physician about the importance of early detection for oral and esophageal cancer and screening protocol that may be right for you.

Bio –

This guest post contribution was made by Teton Oncology, the radiation therapy Idaho Falls, ID and the surrounding area has come to trust, providing exceptional care for its patients with a state of the art clinic.

 

 


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