Almost all tumors of the mouth or pharynx originate in the mucous membrane. Oral cancer is more common in men than women and usually over the age of 45.
Recently, research has been done showing that mouth and throat cancer is increasingly occurring at a young age worldwide.
In the Netherlands, oral cancer is increasingly common in men under the age of 35, while the number in the 35-44 age group is declining. For the time being, these figures are from a small number of years and the future will show whether this trend will continue.
A number of risk factors are known for oral cancer. The most important are smoking, chewing tobacco and drinking alcohol excessively.
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In addition, poor oral hygiene, poor nutrition, ill-fitting chronic inflammatory irritation and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) are also risk factors.
A hereditary component probably also plays a role, as a result of which one person is more sensitive to the mentioned risk factors than the other.
Patients with mouth and throat cancer often have vague complaints. As a result, it is sometimes only discovered at a late stage.
Symptoms that may occur include swollen glands, painful swelling, an open sore in the mouth that does not heal or white or red areas, an ulcer, hoarseness or difficulty swallowing.
The dentist will look closely at the mouth during the check-ups and will notice abnormalities.
Also have the dentist check this if you notice changes in the mouth!
During consultation hours, specialists, including a general practitioner, dentist, oncologist and sexologist / urologist answer a medical question from a reader every week. Do you have a question? Mail to [email protected].
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