Unlike many other forms of the illness, oral cancer has a number of visible signs that indicate the probability of malignant cells.
Oral cancer can develop in any part of the mouth, including the soft tissue (cheeks), tongue, lips, gums, or larynx (throat). If any symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks, consult a physician.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The most common symptoms of oral cancer are:
- Sores or lesions. Lumps, bumps, rough or irritated growths may appear in any part of the mouth.
- Swelling or thickening of parts of the oral cavity.
- White (leukoplakia) or red (erythroplakia) patches of irritated skin
- Bleeding with no obvious source.
- Hoarse or scratchy-sounding voice.
- Considerable weight loss.
- Difficulty swallowing, chewing, or speaking.
- A feeling of having something caught in the throat.
- Ill-fitting dentures. This can indicate a problem with the teeth or gums.
- Pain/tenderness or numbness in parts of the head, neck, or throat.
Oral cancer is treatable if caught early. It is recommended that patients do self-checks of their oral cavity regularly. Look in the mirror and examine the overall appearance of the oral cavity—particularly the tongue, gums, and soft tissue (cheeks). This is especially critical for patients who are frequent smokers or have a family history of oral cancer.