Where does gum cancer start?
Gum cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that begins when cells in the upper or lower gums grow out of control and form lesions or tumors. These cancers are often mistaken for gingivitis.
How common is cancer of the gums?
Gum cancer is an oral cancer. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, there are about 53,000 new cases of oral cancers every year. Patches or irregular growths on the gums can be signs of gum cancer. These patches and growths are red and white in color.
What age can you get gum cancer?
Most cases of mouth cancer first develop in older adults who are between 50-74 years of age. Mouth cancer can occur in younger adults, but it’s thought that HPV infection may be responsible for the majority of cases that occur in younger people. Mouth cancer is more common in men than in women.
How can you tell if you have gum cancer?
Common symptoms of gum cancer include:
- Altered sense of taste.
- Bleeding gums.
- Cracking of the gums.
- Difficulty eating.
- Loosening of the teeth or ill-fitting dentures.
- Lump that does not go away.
- Nonhealing sore, which may be white, pale, red, dark, or otherwise discolored.
How do they test for gum cancer?
The following tests may be used to diagnose oral or oropharyngeal cancer:
- Physical examination. Dentists and doctors often find lip and oral cavity cancers during routine checkups. …
- Endoscopy. …
- Biopsy. …
- Oral brush biopsy. …
- HPV testing. …
- X-ray. …
- Barium swallow/modified barium swallow. …
- Computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan.
How do you get rid of gum cancer?
You may have just one type of treatment, or you may undergo a combination of cancer treatments. Treatment options include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
- Surgery to remove the tumor. …
- Surgery to remove cancer that has spread to the neck. …
- Surgery to reconstruct the mouth.
How fast does gum cancer grow?
Fact: Most cases of oral cancer are found in patients 50 years or older because this form of the disease often takes many years to develop.
What does cancer of the mouth look like in humans?
In the early stages, mouth cancer rarely causes any pain. Abnormal cell growth usually appears as flat patches. A canker sore looks like an ulcer, usually with a depression in the center. The middle of the canker sore may appear white, gray, or yellow, and the edges are red.
What is the most common cause of mouth cancer?
Oral cancer most often occurs in people over the age of 40 and affects more than twice as many men as women. Most oral cancers are related to tobacco use, alcohol use (or both), or infection by the human papilloma virus (HPV).