It includes cancers that affect the tongue, lips, floor of the mouth, hard palate and cheeks.
Here are 7 early signs of the disease that you should not ignore if you want to successfully treat Oral Cancer:
- Swellings, lumps or rough spots in your mouth, neck or jaw that do not disappear even after 3 weeks are one of the first signs that you could be developing mouth cancer.
- Ulcers or red or white patches that have a velvety texture are one of the first signs that crop up. If the patches do not heal in 3 weeks, it is highly probable that oral cancer is starting to develop.
- People who suffer from this cancer experience difficulty in chewing and swallowing, moving the jaw or tongue and speaking in the early stages. If this occurs, it is important to take prompt action and get it checked by a doctor.
- Sores in the mouth, neck and face that bleed persistently and do not heal within 2 weeks need to be checked as they are also symptoms of oral cancer.
- Another symptom of oral cancer is constant bleeding in your mouth that cannot be explained.
- Loss of feeling or pain in areas like your mouth, neck, face and ear are other indicators that oral cancer could be developing.
- Oral cancer patients also experience chronic sore throat in the early stages. The sore throat can also be accompanied by a lump in your throat. Once this symptom shows up, it is best to get it checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.
Other Signs & Symptoms
What Does the Early Stage of Oral Cancer Look Like?
Most of the times, mouth cancer doesn’t exhibit symptoms in the early stage. A few common indications of oral cancer include the development of mouth sores/lesions that don’t cure even after being on medications. The thickening of the skin, lining the oral cavity occurs with lump formations and red and/or white patches are viewed in several areas of the mouth.
What Does Cancer Look Like in Your Throat?
The answer actually depends on what portion of the throat contains the cancerous cells. In other words, the position of the tumor and the stage of its growth, are key to representing the appearance of throat cancer. For example, if you have a larynx cancer, red patches may be seen along with an irregular surface. Sores of lesions and piled up cells may also be visible.
It is crucial to note that you might get a blistered and swollen lump in an advanced staged throat cancer. It may at times feel like a concentrated growth of cells. Sometimes, the tumor may appear to be round and suspended over the lining of the throat.
How Do You Know if You Have Oral Cancer?
White lesions (or leukoplakia) and red lesions (or erythroplakia) are the two types of mouth lesions that could be a harbinger of cancer. If these lesions don’t resolve on their own within 2 weeks, they should be reexamined and sent for biopsy to get a conclusive diagnosis.
Other potential signs indicating oral cancer that you may report to your doctor include:
- Lump or node in the soft oral tissues
- Tenderness or a feeling that something getting choked in the throat
- Trouble chewing or swallowing
- Trouble with jaw or tongue movement
- Pain in the Ear
- Hoarseness in the voice
- Numbness of the tongue or other portions of the mouth
- Swelling of the jaw
- Poorly fitting or uncomfortable dentures
A thorough medical examination and tests, as required, should be carried out to get a precise diagnosis in case these problems last for more than 2 weeks. If it’s not possible to get the definite diagnosis, the case should be referred to the appropriate specialist.
Can Oral Cancer Kill You?
Also referred to as a silent killer, oral cancer is mostly painless at the onset. But as soon as an annoyingly painful area is noticeable, it turns into an important concern. Early detection and self-awareness is key to saving lives.
According to some estimate 4 out of 5 people diagnosed with an early-stage mouth, cancer will survive for at least five years preceding their diagnosis. On the contrary, the prospect of survival is much bleak, if mouth cancer is detected at a later stage when it has already spread from the mouth into adjacent tissue. In such cases, merely 1 in 5 people will survive for at least five years after diagnosis.
What are the First Signs of Mouth Cancer?
The initial signs of mouth cancer include:
- Red or white patches in the oral tissues
- Non-healing and easily prone to bleeding mouth sores or ulcers
- Inexplicable swelling in the neck region, throat or mouth lining
- Trouble or discomfort swallowing and chewing
- Painful and sore teeth or gums
- Misfitting dentures or partial dentures
- Visible alteration in mouth tissue
- Uncomfortable sensations (pain, soreness, numbness)
Is Mouth Cancer Treatable?
Often the instances of oral cancer are curable. Several oral cancer cases have been cured with surgery. There are many different types of surgery being used. If an important surgery is performed, the surgeon may also reconstruct parts of the oral cavity to retain your mouth’s appearance and function. Radiation therapy is also applied to treat and cure oral cancer, sometimes in combination with surgery. Chemotherapy may be considered before or after surgery or used separately when the cancer is detected at a later stage. Powerful chemotherapy can check further spread of cancer.
Timely detection and treatment of an early stage mouth cancer can have a good probability of a cure. Chances of a cure are diminished if the cancer has spread.
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