Mouth cancer affects 53,000 people just in America every year. This cancer got its name as Mouth Cancer as it can appear in mouth, cheeks, gums, and even in the neck! Approximately 75% of the people diagnosed with mouth cancer in America are 62 or older; however, 25% of all diagnoses are in people who are under age 55. Men are much more likely to develop it than women are.
You should have all the information related to mouth cancer, including its symptoms, diagnosis, stages, and treatment, because you may develop it. Knowing the information presented in this article could save your life!
You get mouth cancer when the DNA in specific cells in your mouth and neck mutate. These cells divide, and the dysfunctional daughter cells thrive. The daughter cells then crowd out and kill healthy cells. Since the daughter cells are cancerous, they form tumours, which can be deadly at worst and cause solid organ and tissue damage at best. If you get mouth cancer, you will likely develop sores and tumours on the insides of your lips, tongue, cheeks, and the floor of your mouth, sinuses, and throat.
Stages of Mouth Cancer
Mouth cancer progresses in four distinct stages:
- Stage 1 – Your tumours are tiny (no larger than 2 cm in diameter). Cancer remains localized in that it has not metastasized to your lymph nodes.
- Stage 2 – Your tumours are between 2-4 centimeters in diameter. Though more serious, this is still a manageable form of mouth cancer because cancer has not metastasized to your lymph nodes.
- Stage 3 – The tumours are at least 4 centimeters in diameter. Mouth cancer has either not metastasized to your lymph nodes, or has only metastasized to one lymph node in this stage.
- Stage 4 – Tumours are large and has metastasized to your lymph nodes and other body parts.