Oral Cancer and the Early Warning Signs You Should Know
Posted on 2/8/2021 by Dr. Harold D. Kennedy
|Early detection is important for successfully treating any type of cancer, but it may be especially vital when it comes to oral cancer. That is because oral cancer is often not caught until it has already spread to other parts of the body, giving it a higher death rate than other common cancers. However, oral cancer is largely preventable, and if it is detected early enough, the survival rate is high. Here are some early warnings of oral cancer to look out for.
Sores, Lumps, and Patches
Oral cancer can affect the lips, cheeks, palate, tongue, gums, throat, or even your salivary glands. Some of these areas may be difficult to observe any changes to, while others would be more noticeable. Oral cancer can cause you to develop sores, ulcers, lumps, growths, or red or white patches on any of the above parts of your mouth. You should come see us for an exam if you have one or more of these symptoms that does not go away on its own within two weeks. We will rule out other possible causes, as oral cancer can share symptoms with other oral infections or afflictions. If we find something suspicious, we will most likely order a biopsy for further examination.
Problems Speaking, Swallowing, or Chewing
Oral cancer can cause difficulty speaking, swallowing, moving the tongue, and chewing. This is usually the result of cancer cells growing in your throat, on your tongue, or on your palate. Some people also experience their voice becoming raspy or hoarse, frequent coughing, or feeling like something is stuck in their throat.
Other early warning signs of oral cancer might include loose teeth, mouth pain, ear pain, swelling of the jaw or neck, and a sensation of numbness in the mouth. If you have any of the above symptoms or want to learn more about oral cancer, call our office today.