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13 Important Gum Cancer Symptoms to Look Out For

March 4, 2022
Est. Reading: 3 minutes

Gum Cancer Symptoms – Gum cancer is a fairly rare form of cancer, but it can be deadly. It starts in the gum tissue and can spread to other parts of the body. Signs of gum cancer are often mistaken with gingivitis. Developing gum cancer from smoking is possible, but there are several other things that can increase the risk of gum cancer, including chewing tobacco, gum disease, and HPV infection. There are numerous ways of detecting gum cancer symptoms, and most of them consist of taking a close look at the mouth.

Gum cancer symptoms, sings of gum cancer, gum cancer from smoking, gum cancer surgery

Gum Cancer Symptoms

Some of the most common signs of gum cancer include:

  • Red and swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Gum recession
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Lump or mass in the mouth or neck
  • Thick areas of the gum
  • Cracking gums
  • Altered sense of taste
  • Loosening of the teeth or badly-fitting dentures
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Difficulty eating

If an individual is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor right away. Gum cancer can be treated if it is caught early, but it can be deadly if left untreated.

Gum Cancer Risk Factors

Developing gum cancer from smoking is a commonly thought risk factor. However, there are several things that can increase your risk of gum cancer, including:

Gum cancer symptoms, sings of gum cancer, gum cancer from smoking, gum cancer surgery

  • Smoking and chewing tobacco
  • Gum disease
  • HPV infection
  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Age (gum cancer is more common in older adults over the age of 35)
  • Ethnicity (African Americans are at a higher risk for gum cancer)
  • Chronic irritation of the mouth
  • Being male
  • A diet containing few vegetables and fruits

If an individual is concerned about their risk of gum cancer, there are countless things they can do to reduce it. Quitting smoking and chewing tobacco is the most significant thing they can do. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits and seeing a dentist regularly is also indispensable. Avoiding excessive alcohol consumption and being aware of the risk factors are also helpful. If a person experiences any of the symptoms of gum cancer, they should see a doctor right away. Early detection is crucial in the treatment.

Gum Cancer Treatment

There are several ways of treating gum cancer. Treatment options depend on the stage of cancer and how far it has spread. Some common treatments for gum cancer include:Gum cancer symptoms, sings of gum cancer, gum cancer from smoking, gum cancer surgery

  • Gum Cancer Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapy

For upper gum cancer, the most common form of treatment includes maxillectomy, which is surgery to remove the affecting cancer from the roof of the patient's mouth.

For lower gum cancer, the most common form of treatment includes mandibulectomy, which is surgery to remove the affected lymph nodes in the patient's neck that either contain or are likely to contain cancer.

If an individual is diagnosed with gum cancer, their doctor will discuss the best treatment options for them. Gum cancer surgery is the most common form of treatment. If cancer has spread, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be necessary. In some cases, targeted therapy may also be used. Targeted therapy uses drugs that specifically target the cancer cells. This type of treatment is becoming more common and can be very effective in treating gum cancer.

Other Gum Cancer Treatments

Though these treatments don't specifically target and treat cancer itself, they may help patients deal with side effects from surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.

  • Antinausea medications for patients suffering from nausea
  • Blood cell growth factors to promote and increase the number of white blood cells if these levels get too low
  • Blood transfusions to replace blood components, such as red blood cells, that have gotten too low
  • Dietary counseling to help develop a nutritional plan that keeps the patient strong and also acts as a preventative measure for further complications
  • Physical and occupational therapy to aid with talking, eating, and swallowing problems
  • If necessary, pain medications to increase the comfort level of the patient
  • Reconstructive surgery to restore removed structures

Other complementary treatments include acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, herbal remedies, and more.



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