Oral cancer affects thousands of people every single year. According to the American Cancer Society, in 2017, it affected more than 49,000 individuals in the United States. It was also the cause of approximately 9,700 deaths in 2017 as well.
What is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is a type of cancer that occurs anywhere near or in the mouth. It is common on the lips, inside the cheeks, on the gums, tonsils, and even the salivary glands. This type of cancer is very rare in children and is most common in older individuals. However, it can still occur in anyone and at any age.
Signs of Oral Cancer
While cancer can be different for everyone, there are several common signs of this disease. Let’s take a look at five common signs of oral cancer.
1. Mouth Sore
A large and persistent mouth sore is one of the most common signs of this condition. This sore will not go away even with treatment and can become extremely painful. If you notice a large mouth sore that will not disappear, it is important to have it checked and evaluated by a medical professional.
2. Continual Sore Throat
If you battle a sore throat that lasts for several days or weeks, it is important to have it examined. This could be the sign of cancer in the throat area. This is particularly important if you lose your voice or experience extreme hoarseness.
3. Pain in the Mouth
If you experience a lot of unexplained pain in the mouth, it is important to have it checked by a medical professional. This pain could occur when speaking, eating, or swallowing. Also visit a dentist if you experience extreme tenderness that is causing pain in certain areas of your mouth.
4. Teeth Become Loose
Teeth should not become loose or fall out on their own. If you are experiencing this condition, it is vital that you make an appointment with your dentist immediately.
5. Extreme Swelling
If you have not suffered any type of oral injury but you have lots of swelling and irritation in your mouth, this could be a sign of oral cancer.
The key to overcoming oral cancer is to receive treatment in the early stages of the disease. During regular dental visits, your dentist will look for any signs or potential issues. However, if you have any concerns or experience one of the above symptoms, it is important to receive an evaluation from a medical professional to keep you physically strong and healthy.