Definitions and Symptoms of Oropharyngeal Cancer

Definitions and Symptoms of Oropharyngeal Cancer Updated on 09/19/2015

Definitions-and-Symptoms-of-Oropharyngeal-Cancer.jpgBasic information about oropharyngeal cancer

Oropharyngeal cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the tissue of the throat, more specifically in the oropharynx. The area includes the base of the tongue, the tonsils, soft palate and walls of the pharynx. 
This type of cancer can be divided into two categories, according to the cause of the disease:
- HPV positive: caused by the human papillomavirus infection;
- HPV negative: caused by other factors like tobacco or alcohol consumption.
Individuals with oropharyngeal cancer may experience specific symptoms, although it is not always the case. A dentist can be the first to recognize the early signs of cancer during a routine oral examination.

Symptoms and signs

Some of the symptoms of oropharyngeal cancer include:
- soreness in the mouth, lip or throat that persists;
- pain and/or difficulty swallowing;
- red or white patches on the gums, tongue and in other areas;
- hoarseness or voice changes;
- tooth loss or bleeding in the mouth;
- unexpected weightless or inexplicable fatigue, loss of appetite (especially as the disease progresses).
While some of these symptoms, like tooth loss or swollen and red gums can indicate other dental problems, like gum problems for example, a dentist should inform you if any of the symptoms are not related to dental issues.

Risk factors and prognosis for patients

If you observe some of these symptoms and are concerned, you should talk to your dentist and/or doctor as soon as possible. One of the most important risk factors for oropharyngeal cancer is a mucosal infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV). The HPV virus is one of the most important infectious causes of cancer.
Regular dental and medical screenings are recommended for individuals, especially for those who are heavy tobacco and alcohol consumers. The prognosis for oropharyngeal cancer patients depends mainly on the stage of the cancer and his or heal general health.
Our dentists in Bucharest are experienced professionals who can help you with any dental issue. We can make sure that your health is a priority.
You can contact our dental clinic in Bucharest to schedule an appointment or find out more about the dental services we provide in Romania.