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Understanding the symptoms and risk factors for throat and mouth cancers

  • May 16, 2024
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For early diagnosis, it is important to understand the symptoms and risk factors of throat and mouth cancers.

Throat and mouth cancers are complex conditions that can manifest in different ways, making knowledge of their symptoms crucial for early diagnosis and effective intervention. According to Health Insurance, these cancers can often progress without apparent symptoms for an extended period of time, but once present, they can vary depending on their specific location in the throat and mouth area.

Some of the most common symptoms to watch for include persistent cough, pain in the throat or mouth that does not go away, difficulty swallowing, ulcers, changes in voice, unexplained weight loss, lymph nodes swollen lymphatics in the neck, a “stuffy nose” feeling on one side, and non-healing sores on the lips or tongue. It’s important to note that although these symptoms are often associated with throat and mouth cancers, they can also be caused by other less serious conditions. However, it is essential to consult a doctor if any of these symptoms persist.

It is crucial to recognize that throat and oral cancers encompass various conditions, such as nasopharynx, oropharynx, hypopharynx, glottis, supraglottic, and subglottic cancer. Each of these types of cancer may present with specific symptoms and require a different treatment approach.

Several risk factors have been identified as increasing the chances of developing throat or mouth cancer. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption and human papillomavirus (HPV) infection are among the main ones. Additionally, poor oral hygiene, such as lack of regular tooth brushing, as well as frequent exposure to the sun without protection, can also increase the risk of oral cancer.

Although there is no sure way to prevent these cancers, it is possible to reduce the risks by adopting a healthy lifestyle. This includes stopping smoking, moderating alcohol consumption, eating a balanced diet and protecting yourself against the HPV virus. Indeed, some research suggests that oropharyngeal cancers can be attributed to HPV infection, highlighting the importance of prevention.

According to data from Public Health France, the number of new cases of oropharyngeal cancer is increasing, highlighting the importance of awareness, early detection and continued research in this area. Additionally, survival statistics highlight the need for improved treatment and support strategies for those affected by these cancers.

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