Symptoms Related to Oral Cancer
Every year, thirty thousand Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer, but only a small percentage of them are diagnosed at an early stage. Unfortunately, early diagnosis is critical to survival. Oral cancer screening is fast, painless, and simple. In many cases, a simple pen-like device can be used to scan your mouth for tissue abnormalities, which can then be biopsied as needed.
Symptoms of oral cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, including the lips, cheeks, throat, mouth floor, throat, or sinuses. They can include:
• Bumps or lumps in the mouth, face, or neck
• Red or white painless patches on the gums, lips, or inside the cheeks
• Rough spots in the mouth
• Numbness in the mouth
• Hoarseness that is not associated with a recent illness
• Oral bleeding that is not associated with dental disease
• A chronic sore throat
• Chronic ear pain
• Unexplained weight loss
These symptoms can indicate other health problems as well, so they should be evaluated by our dentist as soon as possible, especially if you are showing signs of several, or if they are accompanied by any sudden changes in your mouth, gums, or bite.
Your risk of oral cancer may be higher if you drink heavily, smoke or chew tobacco, or if you have a history of excessive sun exposure. HPV infection has also been linked to oral cancer. However, oral cancer can affect anyone, which is why symptom awareness and routine screenings are so important. Call our office today to learn more about how you can protect yourself from this potentially deadly disease.
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