Early Signs & Symptoms of Oral Cancer

The diagnosis of oral cancer can be life-changing and before you are diagnosed with an advanced stage of oral cancer, it is important to always check whether you are at risk or not.

Like most symptoms of different types of cancer, the early symptoms of oral cancer mimic those of other medical conditions that are not as severe or critical in nature. One of the first symptoms is pain in the mouth, which can be attributed to a condition as insignificant as a cold or toothache. If the symptoms persist for a really long time, it is important to make sure that diagnosis is also sought at the earliest. Most symptoms that a patient with oral cancer goes through are due to other, less serious medical conditions.

Certain commonly experienced early signs of oral cancer include the following.

•    Persistent mouth sore: if you have been having a hard time dealing with sores in the mouth that does not heal, you probably have oral cancer.
•    Thickening of the cheek or formation of lump in the area.
•    Pain in the mouth: if you are experiencing pain in and around the mouth and can’t seem to figure out why it happens each time, consult a doctor.
•    A red or white patch on the tongue, gums, lining of the mouth or tonsil.
•    Difficulty in chewing or swallowing food
•    Difficulty in moving the tongue or jaw
•    Swelling of the jaws, which makes the dentures either fit poorly or painful
•    Changes in the voice
•    Unwanted weight loss or unexplainable loss of weight
•    Bad breath that does not go away
•    Loosening of teeth
•    Formation of lump in the neck
•    Numbness in any part of the mouth, especially the tongue
•    Sore throat or a feeling that something is stuck in the throat and refuses to go away
•    Pain in the jaw or teeth

If you think that you are going through any of these symptoms for over a week or a couple of days, make sure that you visit your doctor immediately. Also, on your first visit, the doctor would recommend tests to completely diagnose the medical condition. As with any type of cancer, getting oral cancer diagnosed early on can prevent a lot of complications. Besides, treatment measure have a far better scope of working effectively if the cancer is diagnosed before it has advanced to a higher and stubborn stage.

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