You have a sore in your mouth that just won’t go away, or the sensation of something caught in the back of your throat. You may wonder – is this something to worry about, or not a big deal? Well, these are actually two of the signs of oral cancer. Cancer of the mouth can occur in the tonsils, gums, tongue, as well as other parts of the mouth. It initially develops in the tissues of the throat or mouth. Keep reading – we’ll take a closer look at the 5 symptoms of oral cancer.
Look For These Signs of Oral Cancer:
- Any type of sore on the lips or mouth that won’t heal
- Development of velvety patches in the mouth
- Unexplained numbness or pain in any area of your mouth, face, ears, or neck
- Feeling like there is a soreness, or something caught in the back of your throat
- Voice starts to change or sound hoarse when you’re not sick
These are a just handful of the top symptoms of oral cancer. Doing your own self-exam is very important. Being treated early is key. Symptoms can occur in several different areas and vary person to person.
What Can Put You at Risk of Oral Cancer?
- Smoking cigarettes, pipes, or cigars, as well as chewing tobacco, make you more likely to acquire oral cancer than non-users.
- Those who drink heavily have a higher risk of oral cancer. Combine tobacco and alcohol, and the risk is very high.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted virus. Cancers linked to it are commonly found in the tonsils, base of tongue, and back of throat.
- High exposure to the sun can lead to lip cancer.
- A weakened immune system can make you more vulnerable to oral cancer.
How Can You Reduce Your Risk of Oral Cancer?
- Don’t start using tobacco. If you do use it, stop. Cancer-causing chemicals assault your mouth when you use tobacco.
- If you drink alcohol, only do so in moderation. Heavy use can make your mouth susceptible to mouth cancer because the alcohol irritates the cells in the mouth.
- Protect your lips in direct sunlight with a sunscreen product.
- See your dentist regularly for a dental exam.
Practicing good oral health is key to guard against oral cancer. But, if you have questions, or need a skilled surgeon, East Brainerd Oral Surgery is here for you. If you have questions or need to make an appointment with one of our professionals don’t hesitate to call us today at (423) 296-8210.