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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 relatively rare cancer, but it can be deadly. It starts in the gum tissue and can spread to other body parts. Signs of gum cancer are often mistaken for gingivitis. Developing gum cancer from smoking is possible, but several other things can increase the risk of gum cancer, including chewing tobacco, gum disease, and HPV infection. Numerous ways of detecting gum cancer symptoms include looking closely 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 essential to see a doctor immediately. Early detection can lead to successful gum cancer treatment, but it can become deadly if left untreated.

Gum Cancer Risk Factors

Developing gum cancer from smoking is a commonly thought risk factor. However, several things 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 occasionally seeing a dentist 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 the tumor 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

The most common form of treatment for upper gum cancer includes maxillectomy and surgery to remove affected cancer from the roof of the patient's mouth.

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

If an individual is diagnosed with gum cancer, their doctor will discuss their best treatment options. Gum cancer surgery is the most common form of treatment. If cancer has spread, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be necessary. In some cases, people may use targeted therapy. Targeted therapy uses drugs that specifically target cancer cells. This treatment is becoming more common and can effectively treat gum cancer.

Other Gum Cancer Treatments

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

  • Antinausea medications for patients suffering from nausea
  • If these levels get too low, blood cell growth factors promote and increase the number of white blood cells.
  • 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

Another complementary treatment has shown positive results in treating various diseases, including cancer. This topical non-invasive therapy can transport natural minerals to cancer cells and kill only those cells, leaving the healthy cells functioning without disruption. This website provides more information on this cancer cell treatment.

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