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Signs of Oral Cancer

A young woman with mouth open checking throat

Oral cancer is a serious and often life-threatening condition that affects thousands of people worldwide. The key to successful treatment lies in early detection, so it’s important to know what the signs and symptoms are.

Let’s take a look at the signs of oral cancer to catch it in its earliest stages.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the oral cavity, which includes the different parts of the mouth and throat. It can affect the whole mouth, including the lips, tongue, gums, lining, throat, etc.

It usually begins as an abnormal growth or tumor, which can become cancerous. There are certain risk factors associated with oral cancer. These include tobacco or alcohol use, HPV infection, a weakened immune system, poor diet, or a family history of oral cancer.

Men are usually at a higher risk, as are the elderly.

Signs of Oral Cancer

Here are some of the more common symptoms of oral cancer. Keep in mind that not every sign necessarily points to cancer. Some of these signs may be a symptom of periodontal disease.

However, periodontal disease is also quite serious, so if you notice any of these signs in yourself, don’t hesitate to see a doctor.

  • Mouth sores that won’t heal (may or may not be painful)
  • Red or white patches
  • Unexplained bleeding from the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent sore throat
  • Numbness or pain
  • Changes in voice
  • Swollen lumps or masses
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Ear pain

Importance of Early Detection

Early detection of oral cancer is necessary for effective treatment. Routine dental check-ups can be very helpful in making sure any early signs or anomalies are detected early on before they become a more significant issue.

Visit Coastal Periodontics for a complete dental checkup, and let us know of any concerns you have about your oral health.

Awareness of the signs of oral cancer and regular oral screenings are the keys to early detection and a higher chance of successful treatment. Don't hesitate to reach out to your healthcare provider or dentist if you notice any concerning symptoms, as early intervention can save lives.

Posted on Nov 27, 2023
Image Credit:

File ID 18531831 | © Piotr Marcinski | Dreamstime.com

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