Oral Cancer: Signs & Symptoms

We have already covered certain aspects of oral cancer in our earlier articles. Now it’s time to discuss the symptoms of cancer of the mouth. Let us also tell our readers that “May” is dedicated as the Oral Cancer month by the medical fraternity in that more attention is paid to awareness, campaigns etc related to this condition during this month.

The incidence of oral cancer is on the rise. To begin with, when it comes to oral cancer it is important to remember that it is not hereditary meaning it is not passed from one generation to another and secondly that the cancer is closely related to lifestyle choices that a person makes.  Symptoms of oral cancer are often neglected meaning that the disease goes undetected during its early stages. This results in the cancer spreading and becoming out of control.

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Some of the common symptoms associated with Oral Cancer are:

  1. Development of white and red patches in the mouth, lip and in the gums. You can get either white or red patches. Both of these need further investigation for oral cancer.
  2. If you have a sore or ulcer in the mouth or on your lips that does not go for a long time. Sometimes the ulcers only increase in number making it difficult to eat.
  3.  Sudden development of distaste for food. This can happen even if you do not have fever or any other complaint.
  4. The patients who wear dentures may all of a sudden find it difficult to put the dentures.
  5. Some patients develop a lump in the neck.
  6. Sometime patients complain that they have got a constant pain in the neck.
  7. If you suddenly lose a tooth then you must get yourself screened for oral cancer. Especially if this happens in spite of taking calcium regularly.
  8. Constant pain the ear can be an indicator of oral cancer.
  9. Sudden bleeding in the mouth can also be a symptom of Oral Cancer.
  10. Numbness if experienced in some parts of the mouth. It means lack of pain or any sensation in any part of the mouth or the tongue.
  11. A sudden swelling in the lymph nodes can also mean that you might have oral cancer.
  12. A sudden loss in weight for no reason could also mean that you might have got oral cancer.
  13. A feeling of something stuck in the throat could also be a sign of oral cancer.
  14. Some patients say that they find it difficult to swallow.
  15. You may also find it difficult to move the jaws and the tongue.
  16. The early symptoms of Oral Cancer may also include difficulty in swallowing and chewing.
  17. A sudden hoarseness in the voice can also mean that you have started to develop oral cancer.

As Oral Cancer advances and spread to the other parts of the body more complications and symptoms may develop. If the above symptoms last for more than two weeks you must meet the doctor. First schedule a visit with an ENT. He or she will tell you if you need to meet an oncologist. Just ensure that you get screened. Some of these symptoms may be of some other diseases too.

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  • DrBock
  • Dr Randall Bock (MD) is the owner of Medical Treatment Center of Revere and has spent years helping patients overcome additions and in detoxification thus serving a great social cause as well.