One symptom for three weeks
Cancer of the Mouth, Head and Neck, as well as oral melanoma: see the signs, get informed. You will save your own life and that of the precious people around you.
Sore tongue, ulcer, a sore that won't heal, red or white plaques inside the mouth, pain and difficulty swallowing, sore throat, hoarseness that persists, swelling in the neck, stuffy nose on one side, and/or bloody discharge?
These are the symptoms to watch out for and to seek medical help for, if they haven’t gone away in 3 weeks!
The online Seminar of the Hellenic Head and Neck Cancer Society – HeSHNca, as part of the Head and Neck Cancer Week and the European Action Make Sense Campaign, was held with great success. The huge interest in the subject was evident by the wide interdisciplinary composition of the registrants, such as Nurses, ENT Doctors, Surgeons, Dentists, Educators, Physiotherapists, Biologists, Pathologists, Students, Gynecologists, Microbiologists, Pathologists, Oncologists, Paediatricians, Surgeons, Anesthetists, Pathologists, Psychiatrists, Radiologists, Endocrinologists, Patient Association Members, Neurologists, Urologists, Plastic Surgeons, and Thoracic Surgeons.
Head and neck cancer is a life-changing disease
Early diagnosis and timely management can contribute to successful and life-saving treatment. The rule "I visit the doctor when I have one of the above symptoms, which do not heal after 3 weeks" saves life!
Cancer around the Head and Neck, and in the mouth, does not hurt for the first 4 to 8 months! In the mouth it often appears as a sore, which does not heal. Unfortunately, about 60% of people with head and neck cancer, including the mouth, come to the doctor later and are diagnosed with an advanced tumor. Of these, 60% do not survive beyond 5 years after treatment.
Risk factors for Head, Neck, and Oral Cancer
People who smoke will have a 15 times greater risk of developing head and neck cancer, including the mouth as compared to a non-smoker.
Men who consume more than three drinks, and women with more than two drinks a day, are at a significantly higher risk of developing head and neck cancer.
Human papilloma virus – HPV
The HPV virus is associated with the occurrence of oropharyngeal cancer, i.e., cancer of the pharynx, tongue, and tonsils.
Men are 2-3 times more likely to develop head and neck and mouth cancer than women. However, the incidence is also increasing in women. In the area of the Head and Neck, including the mouth, it is more common in people over the age of 40. However, HPV-related cancer is increasing in young people.
How does cancer appear in the oral cavity
In the mouth, cancer most often appears as a wound that does not heal. It can also look like as a lump or a hard area. The rule of 1 symptom which does not go away for 3 weeks and a visit to a specialist, will save our lives! The doctor will differentiate any possible cancer from canker sores, injuries from decayed and broken teeth, and many small reactive tumors.
At each dental visit, it is very useful to ask an overall examination of our mouth during each dental examination, to check for any white plaques which may be hiding precancerous lesions and/or cancer.
Oral melanoma is another cancer of the mouth, that can also be diagnosed early, with information and a timely visit to the doctor!
How to care for and support people experiencing cancer
Head and neck cancer is a life-changing disease. It is important that all patients receive the right supportive care during and after their treatment. This can reduce relapses, but also ensure that everyone has the best possible quality of life!
See the articles and how proper care from an appropriately informed dentist can help us: Visit CureCancer for everything you want to know about your care!
- Why is the mouth the mirror of our health and in cancer?
- How will I protect my teeth when undergoing chemotherapy?
- Why we should keep our teeth strong when we have radiation therapy.
- Dental check-up is necessary before chemotherapy!
- An increase in survival showed a study in patients with oral cancer who applied preventive measures of oral hygiene.
- Treatment of periodontitis, before chemotherapy, reduces inflammation markers!
- Online Dental Seminars: Cancer Care.
- Games and Videos to prevent stomatitis in children undergoing chemotherapy!
- You must eat to survive.
The need for multidisciplinary support and the importance of psychological care were highlighted given individually for all and for the management of the consequences of therapy, including the change in figure. The Dietician will support and assist the best feeding care.
The Dentist supports the oral care and the recurrence, if any, of cancer.