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Oral Cancer Cases To See 3.76 Percent Rise In 2018

The cases of oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer will rise by 3.7649 in 2018, according to the estimations of the American Cancer Society.

ACS reported 51,540 new cases of oral cancer would be diagnosed this year, higher from last year’s estimate of 49,670. More people will also die from cancer as the number of deaths jumped from 9,700 to 10,030 in 2018. Still, the chance of survival remains high with approximately 57 percent of newly diagnosed patients will be alive in five years.

Despite being ranked as the 15th most common cancer, the five-year relative survival rate for oral cancer is still high especially for local stages where cancer has been contained in the area where it started.

Oral cancer (1) squamous cell carcinoma histopathology
Histopathologic image illustrating well differentiated squamous cell carcinoma in the excisional biopsy specimen. Hematoxylin-eosin stain.
Oral cancer in the lips sees optimistic figures of 93 percent five-year relative survival rate at the local stage. Although a considerable plunge is observed at the regional level or when nearby tissues and lymph nodes have already been affected, the numbers continue to show positive outlook of survival at 48 percent. However, quite interestingly, the five-year survival rate for oral cancer in the lip for cases which have spread to distant sites presents higher figure than the regional stage at 52 percent.

For oral cancer in the tongue, the figures remain promising with survival rates at 78 percent for the local stage, 63 percent for the regional stage, and 36 percent for distant stages. Meanwhile, oral cancer in the tongue has lower five-year relative survival rates than cases in the lip and tongue. Still, the numbers are considerably high with 75 percent survival rate for local stage. The rate dips for the regional stage at 38 percent and distant stage at 20 percent, almost 50 percent and 74 percent lower than the local stage rate.

Also referred to as mouth cancer, oral cancer is the growth of cancerous tissue in the oral cavity. It comprises about 85 percent of all head and neck cancers.

The average age of developing oral cancer is at 62 years old. Still, oral cancer can also affect the people below 55 years old as more than 25 cases of oral cancer in this age group have been diagnosed. Regarding sex, men are more likely to have oral cancer than women.

Still, other factors contribute to the development of cancer aside from age and sex. Unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can trigger cancer growth. However, individuals without smoking history and only occasional alcohol intake can still have oral cancer especially with family history of cancer.

Indicators of oral cancer include swelling or thickening of an area of the oral cavity, lumps, bumps, eroded areas, and rough spots, velvety white, red, or white and red patches in the mouth, unexplained bleeding, and inexplicable numbness in the face, mouth or neck area. Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth which easily bleed can also appear.

Because of these symptoms, people with oral cancer can have difficulty in chewing or swallowing, difficulty in speaking or moving the jaw and the tongue, change in voice, ear pain, chronic sore throat, and dramatic weight loss.

Early detection of the presence of cancer is imperative in increasing the survival rate from oral cancer. A routine dental checkup can help detect abnormalities that can indicate irregularities in the tissue of the neck, head, face, and oral cavity which make up can be identified as cancerous or not through a biopsy.


Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.

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