Oral cancer is increasingly becoming rampant around the world, affecting people of all ages. This type of cancer affects different parts of the oral structure, including lips, cheeks, tongue, palates, sinuses, pharynx, and the mouth floor. If it is not detected and treated early, this type of cancer can be life-threatening. Therefore, it is crucial to go for regular oral cancer screening so that the doctor can detect the tumor before it develops into cancer.
But even if you go for regular checkups, there are specific symptoms that should raise eyebrows and compel you to go for immediate oral cancer screening. Here are some of the possible signs of oral cancer that should get you worried.
Swellings and Lumps
While not every swelling or lump in your mouth is cancerous, it is important to see the doctor. The examination if there is a mysterious lump in your mouth that does not respond positively to anti-inflammatory medication or any other related medical intervention. When you go to the doctor, a series of medical examinations, including cancer screening, will be done to determine the swelling cause.
White and Red Patches in Your Mouth
If you notice a combination of white and reddish patches in your unexplainable mouth, see a doctor immediately. Such patches are commonly referred to as erythroleukoplakia and are brought by the abnormal growth of cells in your mouth that will likely become cancerous. It should even be of more concern to you if the patches last for more than two weeks.
Unexplained Gum Bleeding
It is normal to have occasional bleeding of your gums, especially after brushing your teeth vigorously or wearing dentures. However, frequent bleeding of gums can indicate more serious health problems, including blood cancer (leukemia), advanced gum disease, etc. Therefore, it is vital to have yourself screened for cancer immediately.
Persistent sores in your mouth, lips, gums, and throat that easily bleed and don’t go away after two weeks could sign oral cancer. Persistent lumps may accompany these sores in your lymph glands in your neck. They may also make swallowing difficulty and cause your voice to change.
In summary, the safest way to detect and deal with oral cancer is to go for regular cancer screenings. Also, while you may have one or a couple of these symptoms, it doesn’t mean that you have cancer. The best way to establish whether you have the disease or not is to go for screening.