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In Northern Ireland approximately 185* people are diagnosed with mouth cancer every year, with more than one third dying from the disease. Gerry Bleakney, Head of Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement, PHA, said: “Certain lifestyle choices can increase an individual’s risk of developing mouth cancer. Gum cancer is the malignancy of the soft tissue around the teeth, including the bones of the jaw underlying the teeth.
Gingival cancer can occur as a primary malignant tumor or as a metastatic site of other head and neck cancers. Signs and symptoms of gum cancer include those that affect the gums, teeth and oral cavity. Causes and risk factors for gum cancer are similar to the general predisposing factors of oral cancer.
Cigarette smoke and tobacco contains several carcinogenic chemicals that may lead to gum cancer. Certain populations of the world, such as Asian, have a traditional culture of chewing betel nut for dental purposes.
The male population is at more risk for gum cancer because of lifestyle factors such as smoking and alcoholic beverage drinking, which are more commonplace and frequent among males. Physicians usually collect tissue samples from gingival ulcers and tumors and subject it to histologic examinations.
Dental X-ray and X-ray of the skull may also be performed to determine presence of tumors in the gums and other parts of the head. Physicians may order further imaging tests such as MRI to have a more definite assessment of tumors and their location. Treatment of gum cancer includes surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and other supportive managements. Surgery involves the removal of the gum tumor and is the first line of treatment for malignant tumors. Chemotherapy is usually employed after surgery to kill cancer cells that have spread to other areas of the body.
Radiation therapy is also instituted as adjunct therapy to surgery to stop the spread and growth of malignant cells. The use of cetuximab (Erbitux) targets cancerous cells specifically, which has fewer side-effects than chemotherapy. Patients with gum cancer should be assisted in returning to usual activities specifically, those involving eating and speaking. Reconstructive surgery may also be recommended to address disfiguring affects of gum and oral surgeries. Gum cancer also leads to complications resulting from affectation of other parts of the oral cavity and throat. The last stage of gum cancer involves spread of the tumor to the oral cavity and other adjacent tissues.
T3- Tumor size is more than 4cm with spread to adjacent superficial tissues such as the tongue, sinus, etc. T4- Tumor spreads to the deep tissues of other organs in the oral cavity or other adjacent structures. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
This website is for informational purposes only and Is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you think you may be at risk for oral cancer, be on the lookout for common oral cancer symptoms. Most of the time these symptoms are not a result of oral cancer, but if any of the above oral cancer symptoms persist for more than a few weeks it is wise to seek medical attention. Visit our Mouth Cancer Symptoms page for more information on specific tests a doctor or dentist will perform to test for, diagnose and stage oral cancer.
It is recommended (and sometimes even required by insurance companies) that you get a second opinion on your diagnosis.

Oral Cancer Resources– This page will connect you to many other sites with additional information and research on oral cancer. We also recommend visiting our pages that focus on the different locations oral cancer can occur.
A chemical in smokeless tobacco products has been found to cause cancer, according to a new study in animals.
While use of smokeless tobacco products has been strongly linked to the development of cancer, no specific chemical in the products had been identified as a strong oral-cancer causing agent until now, the researchers say.
Previous studies have suggested that a group of chemicals called nitrosamines, of which (S)-NNN is a member, cause various types of cancer in animals, but no study has looked at the carcinogenicity of (S)-NNNspecifically, the researchers say. In future studies, Balbo said she and her colleagues hope to identify other carcinogens in smokeless tobacco, and to understand what levels of these chemicals are present in smokeless tobacco products.
In an era of rapidly proliferating, precisely targeted treatments, every cancer case has to be played by ear. QuestionsI’ve been a cigarette smoker for a number of years and am concerned about the possibility of developing oral cancer. Smoking, chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol are risk factors for oral cancer, but it is important to note that more than 25 percent of all oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke and who only drink alcohol occasionally. Although mouth cancer awareness month (1–30 November) is ending soon the Public Health Agency (PHA) is urging everyone to continue to be vigilant of the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer and is encouraging all smokers thinking about stopping smoking to make the decision to stop today. Tobacco is considered to be the main cause of mouth cancer, with three in four cases being linked to smoking. The positive news is that stopping smoking is associated with a rapid reduction in the risk of oral cancers. Gum cancer occurs in the form of squamous cell carcinoma, which means that the lining of the gums and mouth are affected. This means that gum cancer cells are able to spread to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system. The roots of teeth can be affected, leading to dislocation, despite absence of cavities or damage. However, dentists discourage the use of betel nut because it may lead to staining of the teeth, cavities, and even gingival and oral cancers.
HPV produces cell changes in the gums and may lead to gingival cancer, aside from causing cervical and vulvar cancer. Ill-fitting dentures, dental appliances and improper use of a toothbrush may also irritate the gums and cause cellular changes on the lining. Risk factors are also assessed by determining the social and lifestyle history of the patient.
Examination includes thorough assessment of the gums and teeth including the whole oral cavity to determine any spread or underlying causes. Patients should be taught to consume small frequent meals, consisting of a soft diet, to avoid undue tension in the teeth and gums.
Dental prosthesis is also available to restore the normal appearance of the gums, teeth, and mouth. Just like with any forms of cancer, distant metastasis provides the most unfavorable picture for patients. However, prevention is still the best key in managing gum cancers, which involves avoidance of the modifiable risk factors.
Either the tumor is more than 4 cm in size with no lymph node affectation or the tumor is less than 4 cm in size, but there is already spread to one lymph node. Usually in their early stages, different types of oral cancer are painless or may resemble normal mouth pains. A doctor or dentist can check for any abnormalities through a visual inspection and can refer you to a specialist if more attention in needed. You can ask your doctor for recommendations or research other hospitals or doctors that specialize in oral cancer.
It is not and should not be considered medical advice or used in place of the advice of a medical professional.

Smokeless tabacco products are already required to carry warning labels saying the products can cause mouth cancer or are not a safe alternative to cigarettes, the Food and Drug Administration says. The study will be presented this week at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting in Chicago.
If you are concerned specifically about oral cancer, call us today for a limited examination for that particular concern--or better yet call us at 535-8838 for a comprehensive exam and xray series at our dentist office on the South Hill of Spokane WA 99223. Depending on the biotypes of the above mentioned bacteria the severity of the disease varies. Regular trips to the dentist are also a must because half of all mouth cancer cases are detected by dentists.
Chronic injury to the gums by chronic alcoholism produces abnormal cellular proliferation in an attempt to repair the injury, leading to tumor growth. The administration of chemotherapy may potentially lead to bone marrow suppression because of destruction of normal cells, aside from the cancerous cells. However, gum cancer has slow progression, which means that further spread of malignant cells is effectively prevented when treatments are instituted.
Because of this one of the biggest dangers of oral cancer is the fact that it often goes unnoticed and is not diagnosed until it has advanced and often spread to other areas of the body.
This will help you get even more information on your diagnosis and may even open up knew options on ways to treat your oral cancer. The total dose was approximately equivalent to the amount of (S)-NNN to which a smokeless tobacco user would be exposed from chronic use of these products.
Since this disease is infectious it can spread by respiratory droplets or by contact with the infected person. Often, people disregard this symptom thinking that it is just caused by trauma from brushing.
The most common sites for metastases are the other parts of the oral cavity, lymph nodes, pharynx, larynx and thyroid gland. Deaths from oral cancer could be significantly reduced if patients were more aware of possible symptoms, thus leading to earlier detection of oral cancer.
So even if you have a slight suspicion something may be wrong it is best to have it diagnosed by a doctor or dentist. A second opinion will often give you confidence in knowing that you have explored multiple options and made a wise choice in how to best treat it. All 24 rats given (S)-NNN had esophageal tumors and oral tumors, and died within 17 months.
However, gum bleeding in gingival cancer may occur, despite using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Pre-chemotherapy drugs are also given, such as anti-emetics, to reduce side-effects of chemotherapy. The mean 5 year survival rate of gum cancer is up to 70 to 80%, which is high when compared to other types of cancers.
If you exhibit any oral cancer symptoms it is wise to get them checked out as soon as possible. Symptoms of respiratory diphtheria include fever, difficulty in breathing and swallowing and further spread of the disease can cause heart and neurological problems such as paralysis.
Smoking also masks discoloration of the gums caused by cancer since tar contained in cigarettes also causes gum discoloration. After the diagnosis of the infected patient, proper treatment should be taken including diphtheria antitoxin which reduces the progression of the disease and later antibiotics like penicillin and erythromycin should be applied to eradicate it completely. If you experience any significant changes or issues that persist for a period of time talk to a doctor. Vaccination and immunization of infants at the age of 2,4 ,6 months is the finest way to prevent this disease.

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