If you're concerned about oropharyngeal cancer, or throat cancer, talk to a dental provider today. Although throat cancer can be potentially dangerous for their health, many adults don't know much about it. However, the more you learn about throat cancer, the more effective you are at detecting and treating it. Learn more about throat cancer and what you might do if you show signs of it.
Where Does Oropharyngeal Cancer Occur?
Although oropharyngeal cancer generally affects the throat, cancerous lesions and cells can also develop near the tonsils, back of the mouth, and near the nasal cavity. Some forms of throat cancer can show up in the tongue region or inside the voice box, or vocal cords.
The symptoms of throat cancer can vary, depending on where the cancer develops. However, the most common symptoms noticed by people include:
- pain or irritation in the ear
- difficulty chewing or opening the jaw
- hoarseness, voice cracking, or other strange problems when speaking
- weight loss
It's also possible to develop a strange lump in the neck and throat region. The lumps can make it difficult to speak, turn your head, or sleep comfortably at night.
If you discover or experience any of the signs above, reach out to a dentist today.
How Do You Detect Signs of Throat Cancer?
A dentist is one of the first professionals to detect or diagnose cancer of the throat, mouth, and head. In order to determine whether or not you have cancer, a dentist may physically examine your oral cavity, throat, and neck. A provider may look for strange sores in your mouth and thick lumps in your throat and neck.
Your examiner may also check the position of your teeth and jaw to see if they fit together properly. Some types of oral and throat cancers can disrupt the natural alignment between your teeth and jawbones.
If a dentist discovers signs of oropharyngeal cancer during your exam, they'll take steps to treat you. Your treatment may depend on the:
- stage of your throat cancer
- location of your throat cancer
- severity of your throat cancer
A provider may also work with another specialist during your treatment, including an ENT and oral surgeon. Some cancerous growths may require surgery to remove safely. If outside treatment becomes necessary, a dentist will inform you about it.
If you wish to obtain more information about throat and oral cancer, speak to a dentist in your area today.