The term oral cancer includes cancer of the mouth (oral cavity) and the back of the mouth (oropharynx). Red and white patches inside the mouth, bleeding, loose teeth, pain upon swallowing, a lump in the neck, earache, and a sore on your lip or in your mouth that won't heal are all symptoms of oral cancer. Treatment for oral cancer depends upon the staging of the disease and usually involves surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Read more: Oral Cancer Article
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Related Disease Conditions
Genital Warts (HPV) Infection in Women
Genital warts is a sexually transmitted infection (STI, STD) caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). It is the most common STD in the US. The warts can appear anywhere on the skin where sexual contact has occurred. The warts look like raised, flesh-colored lumps or bumps that have a cauliflower-like appearance. Signs and symptoms of genital warts in women include vaginal, vulva, or groin pain, itching, and burning where the wart(s) is. Treatment can remove warts or lesions, but it does not prevent spread of the virus, and the warts usually grow back. Removing genital warts does not prevent the infection from spreading elsewhere on the body. There is no cure for genital warts, and there is no vaccine to prevent them; however, there is a vaccine to prevent infection from four common types of HPV. Gardasil vaccine available for female adolescents and teens to prevent HPV infection and cervical cancer.
Cancer is a disease caused by an abnormal growth of cells, also called malignancy. It is a group of 100 different diseases, and is not contagious. Cancer can be treated through chemotherapy, a treatment of drugs that destroy cancer cells.
There are a variety of diseases and conditions that can cause tongue problems, discoloration, and soreness. Though most tongue problems are not serious. Conditions such as leukoplakia, oral thrush, and oral lichen planus may cause a white tongue while Kawasaki syndrome, scarlet fever, and geographic tongue may cause the tongue to appear red. A black hairy tongue may be caused by overgrown papillae on the tongue. Canker sores, smoking, and trauma may cause soreness of the tongue.
A toothache is pain on or around a tooth. It may have a variety of causes, including a cavity, abscess, or even sinusitis. Toothache symptoms include pain, headache, earache, bad taste in the mouth, and gum swelling. Dental X-rays and other tests performed by a dentist are used to diagnose the cause of a toothache. Toothache treatment depends on the underlying cause. Taking proper care of the teeth and gums can help prevent toothache.
HPV (Human Papillomavirus) Infection
HPVs or human papillomaviruses are a group of viral infections of the skin and mucous membranes. Certain high-risk types of HPV infection cause certain cancers (cervical, penile, anal, vaginal, and oral). There are no signs or symptoms of HPV infection. HPV infection is an extremely common STD and is highly contagious. People are at higher risk of getting HPV infection if they have multiple sex partners, a weakened immune system, or breaks in the skin. HPV vaccinations prevent HPV infection. Treatment for HPV infection is antiviral medication. There is no cure for HPV infection.
Cancer Risk Factors and Causes
Though it's difficult to say why some people develop cancer while others don't, research shows that certain risk factors increase a person's odds of developing cancer. These risk factors include growing older, family history of cancer, diet, alcohol and tobacco use, and exposure to sunlight, ionizing radiation, certain chemicals, and some viruses and bacteria.
Chewing Tobacco (Smokeless Tobacco, Snuff)
People absorb more nicotine into their systems by chewing tobacco (snuff or smokeless tobacco) than by smoking a cigarette. Chewing tobacco or snuff can cause cancers, poor oral health (gum disease and tooth decay), infertility, pregnancy complications, and nicotine addiction. Nicotine addiction can be overcome with available prescription drugs and other treatment programs.
Hookahs vs. Cigarette Smoking (Addiction and Health Dangers)
A hookah is a water pipe that's used to smoke flavored tobacco like watermelon, licorice, coconut, chocolate, cherry, mint, apple, and cappuccino. The use of this type of tobacco smoking began in ancient India and Persia centuries ago. You can find hookah cafes all over the world, for example, the U.S., France, Russia, Britain, and the Middle East. New forms of electronic hookah are now available. Some people who smoke tobacco think that hookahs are less dangerous to their health because the smoke is filtered through water, but the smoke from hookahs contain the same cancer-causing chemicals that cigarette smoke does. Smoking tobacco via cigarettes or hookah are both dangerous to your health.
Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as losing a job or getting into trouble with the law. It can cause myriad health problems, including cirrhosis of the liver, birth defects, heart disease, stroke, psychological problems, and dementia. Counseling and a few medications can be effective for alcoholism treatment.
Smoking (How to Quit Smoking)
Smoking is an addiction. More than 430,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from smoking related illnesses. Secondhand smoke or "passive smoke" also harm family members, coworkers, and others around smokers. There are a number of techniques available to assist people who want to quit smoking.
Tumor grade is a system used to classify cancer cells in how likely the tumor is to grow and how abnormal they look under a microscope. Tumor grade is not the same as tumor stage. A biopsy is taken to determine if the tumor is benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Leukoplakia is a white or gray patch that develops on the tongue or inside the cheek. Causes of Leukoplakia may include irritation from rough teeth fillings or crowns, chronic smoking, sun exposure to the lips, or HIV or AIDS.
What Do Early Signs of Tongue Cancer Look Like?
Tongue cancer is a serious form of oral cancer. In most patients, there may be a few to no symptoms in the early stages of tongue cancer.
Head and Neck Cancer
Head and neck cancer is cancer of the oral cavity, salivary glands, paranasal sinuses and nasal cavity, pharynx, larynx, or lymph nodes in the upper part of the neck. These cancers account for 3% to 5% of cancers in the U.S. Tobacco and alcohol use are important risk factors. Treatment may involve surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy.
Genital Warts in Men (HPV)
The HPV virus (genital warts) in men can cause health problems. Genital warts are confined primarily to the moist skin of the genitals or around the anus. Genital warts are caused by the human papillomaviruses (HPVs), which are transmitted through sexual contact.
Cancer fatigue is a lack of energy that is caused by cancer or cancer treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation, biological therapy, or bone marrow transplantation. Strategies to combat cancer fatigue include scheduling rest, pacing oneself, planning ahead and prioritizing work and activities, eating the right foods, exercising, and practicing proper body mechanics.
Certain behavioral, lifestyle, and environmental factors contribute to cancer. Cancer prevention involves modifying these factors to decrease cancer risk. Tobacco use, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, inadequate fruit and vegetable intake, and obesity increase the risk of certain cancers. Vaccines, genetic testing, and cancer screening also play a role in cancer prevention.
Local ResourcesFind a local Oncologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Dental Implants
- Chest X-Ray
- CT Scan vs. MRI
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan)
- Endoscopy (EGD) Procedure
- CT Scan (Computerized Tomography)
- Radiation Therapy
- Dental X-Rays
- Screening Tests for Cancer
- How Do You Replace a Gastrostomy Tube?
- How Long Does Tracheal Resection Take?
- Plastic Surgery (Cosmetic Surgery)
- Questions To Ask Before Surgery
- Caring for Your Dentures
- Dental X-Rays: When to Get Them
- Lasers in Dental Care
- Sore Tongue
- Bad Taste in the Mouth
- Mouth Sores
- Lump or Mass on Gums
- Swollen Tongue
- Painful Gums
- Bad Breath
- Sore Throat (Pharyngitis)
- Oral Cancer
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- How to Choose a Doctor
- Doctor: Getting the Most from Your Doctor's Appointment
- Cancer Survival and Attitude with Hamilton Jordan
- Cancer: Confronting Cancer with Humor
- Advance Medical Directives
- Cancer: Journaling to Save Your Life
- Cancer: The Importance of Joining a Cancer Support Group with Selma Schimmel
- Cancer and Green Tea
- Cancer Treatment: Writing to Heal with Margie Davis
- Cancer Pain Management with Ann Reiner
- Cancer Patients Need Proper Diet and Exercise
- Cancer: Living Well Despite with Win Boerckel
Medications & Supplements
- Wellbutrin (bupropion)
- Dilaudid vs. Fentanyl (Pain Strength Comparison and Side Effects)
- fentanyl patch (Duragesic)
- nicotine patch (Nicoderm CQ, Habitrol)
- Nicorette Gum (nicotine polacrilex, Habitrol)
- Prophylactic Antibiotics for Head and Neck Surgery
- nicotine inhaler - oral, Nicotrol
- nicotine spray - nasal, Nicotrol NS
- Side Effects of Proleukin (aldesleukin)
Prevention & Wellness
- Young Cancer Patients Fare Better on Private Insurance
- Most Americans in the Dark About Cancer-Causing HPV, Survey Finds
- HPV Might Be Behind Vocal Cord Cancers in Young
- Health Tip: How Alcohol May Raise Cancer Risk
- Smoggy Air Tied to Higher Odds for Mouth Cancers
- Study Confirms Added Cancer Risk for Diabetics, Especially Women
- Health Tip: Recognize Symptoms of Oral Cancer
- Tobacco Tied to Higher Risk of Oral HPV Infection, Study Finds
- The Future of Cancer Detection
- 1 in 10 Deaths Among Adults Tied to Alcohol: CDC
- HPV-Linked Oral Cancers May Not Be 'Contagious'
- HPV-Linked Throat Cancer May Have Telltale First Symptoms
- Obesity May Be Tied to Lower Survival Rates for Tongue Cancer Patients
- Despite Major Progress, Some Childhood Cancers Are Still Killers
- Poor Oral Hygiene Tied to Cancer-Linked Virus, Study Finds
- HPV May Also Raise Risk of Throat Cancer
- HPV Vaccine Might Shield Women Against Throat Cancer: Study
- Michael Douglas Blames His Throat Cancer on Oral Sex
- Health Tip: Don't Smoke for a Better Smile
- 'Wake-Up' Cigarette May Raise Risk for Lung, Mouth Cancers
- Which Cancer Tests Do You Really Need?
- Coffee May Lower Risk of Death From Mouth Cancer: Study
- New Gene Test Predicts Whose Mouth Lesions Might Be Cancerous
- Cancer-Causing Chemical in Smokeless Tobacco ID'd
- Blood Pressure Drugs Linked to Lip Cancer in Study
- Dentists Play Key Role in Detecting Oral Cancer
- Health Highlights: March 19, 2012
- Health Tip: Am I at Risk for Gum Disease?
- Health Tip: Chewing Tobacco Harms Oral Health
- Quitting Smoking May Halve Risk of Oral Health Problems
- Oral HPV Infection Strikes Men More Than Women: Study
- HPV-Linked Oral Cancers on the Rise, Study Finds
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