It’s crucial we know the warning signs of oral cancer. Knowing the symptoms can help early detection, which could save your life:
Swelling or thickness along gum lines, lips and flesh on your cheeks
Abnormal lumps or bumps anywhere in the oral cavity
Any rough patches containing crust or eroded skin on your lips, flesh and cheeks
Presence of velvety white, red, or a mix of white and red patches on the skin in your mouth
Random bouts of numbness, tenderness or pain in the neck, mouth or cheeks
Persistent canker sores
Difficulty chewing, speaking or moving your jaw
Chronic sore throat
Dramatic weight loss
Who get’s oral cancer?
Men are more prone to develop oral cancer, with men over the age of 50 the most prone. Oral cancer is the sixth most common cancer found in men.
Other individuals that smoke cigarettes, cigars and pipes are six times more likely than their non-smoking counterparts to develop oral cancer. Individuals that also use smokeless tobacco or chew increase their risk of cancer in the oral cavity significantly.
Ways to prevent oral cancer include:
Do not smoke or use tobacco products
Avoid binge drinking
Eat a balanced diet
Limit sun exposure
To help detect oral cancer early on, dentists suggest individual’s conduct an oral exam on themselves once a month. With a bright light and oral mirror, poke and feel for any of the previously mentioned symptoms. Also feel for swollen lymph nodes, and attend your annual dentist appointments.