The Combined Operation for Head and Neck Cancer *

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The Combined Operation for Head and Neck Cancer *

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Abstract

State of Science Fact Sheet - Oral Cancer Oral Cancer Basic description Cancer can affect any part of the oral cavity, including the lips, tongue, mouth, and throat. There are 2 kinds of oral cancer: oral cavity cancer and oropharyngeal cancer. The most common symptom of oral cancer is a sore in the mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal. Another common sign of oral cancer is pain in the mouth that does not go away. Other signs and symptoms include: • A lump or thickening in the cheek • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth • A sore throat or a feeling that something is caught in the throat • Trouble chewing, swallowing, or moving the tongue or jaw Opportunities Prevention Smoking, smokeless tobacco, and alcohol substantially increase the risk of developing oral cancer. Quitting tobacco and limiting alcohol use significantly lower the risk of developing these cancers, even after many years of use. Some oral cancers are linked to human papilloma virus (HPV) infections of the mouth and throat. Avoiding HPV infection may help lower oral cancer risk. In addition, eating a healthy, balanced diet with at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits every day may provide some protection against oral cancer. Detection The American Cancer Society recommends that primary care clinicians and dentists examine the mouth and throat as part of a routine cancer-related check-up. Dentists and primary care clinicians have the opportunity, during regular check-ups, to see abnormal tissue changes and detect cancer at an early stage. Many clinicians and dentists also recommend that people, especially those at higher risk, take an active role in the early detection of these cancers by doing monthly self-examinations. Treatment Radiation therapy and surgery are the main methods of treating oral cancers. In advanced cancer, chemotherapy may be used in combination with either treatment. Who is at risk? Gender Oral cancers are about twice as common in me

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