Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases of modern times. But, what may surprise you is that oral cancer is actually one of the most common cancers in the world. It can affect almost any part of your oral cavities, including your tongue, lips, and even the soft tissue inside your mouth.
It is important to note that oral cancer is one of the fastest spreading versions of cancer, that’s why early detection is essential. With early detection, the survival rate is actually very high, as many as 84% of people will survive for more than 5 years after early diagnosis.
The key to early detection is to know the following 5 warning signs and to have regular checkups with a reputable dentist, such as this dentist Petrie.
1. Red Patches on Lips
In fact, the patches can be red or white. They are surprisingly common and suggest that there is an issue with the cells that line your mouth or lips You’ll often discover them when you pull your lip down, they will be on the inside of your lip.
These patches are not usually cancerous But, if they are left untreated, they are likely to develop into oral cancer.
2. Sores That Won’t Go Away
Sores that bleed easily are never a good sign. If they appear on your neck, mouth, or even your face and don’t want to go away then you need to seek medical help.
In most instances, a sore should heal completely within 3-4 weeks. If this doesn’t happen they could be a sign of oral cancer. It should be noted that Canker sores are painful and not cancerous, but they should heal within 2-3 weeks. Any sore throat that doesn’t need to be looked at further.
Another sign of oral cancer lumps on the neck, throat, lips, or mouth. There are many different potential causes of a lump, including abscesses and inflammation. However, if the lump doesn’t start to diminish within a day or two you need to get a dental appointment.
The earlier they are checked out the quicker you can get peace of mind or start treatment.
4. Never-ending Sore Throat
Sore throats are generally painful and can reduce your ability to undertake many everyday tasks. They usually disappear quickly. However, if the sore throat persists for more than a few days it is worth getting it checked further.
It is an early sign of cancer.
5. Struggling To Eat Normally
There are many reasons why you could find it harder to chew and swallow than normal. However, changes in your mouth that restrict movement and affect chewing, can be caused by oral cancer.
In particular, if you’re struggling to swallow but don’t have any other symptoms of the flu, cold, or allergies, you should seek medical assistance.
Don’t forget, in many cases these signs are simply an indication of something else that can be easily resolved. But, if you have got oral cancer, early detection is essential. Seek medical help.