Oral cancer is one of the silent diseases that many people aren’t aware of or tend to forget about because it’s not discussed as much as breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, or other diseases. There are a few hard-to-miss symptoms of oral cancer that shouldn’t be ignored as it is a type of cancer that can quickly spread to the throat, lymph nodes, brain, and other areas of the body.
Any physical condition that is new, unexplainable, asymmetric, identified by abnormal comfort, function, shape, color or texture becomes increasingly suspicious the longer it remains unhealed. Although oral cancers are relatively rare, identifying them when quite small ( < 0.5 cm ) is a huge benefit compared to delayed diagnosis and treatment.
Sores may appear in the mouth, on the face and neck as cancer grows. Some of these sores might begin to bleed as they become larger. Cancer cells don’t get better on their own, so the sores that develop tend to get larger and delve deeper into the tissue.
Some people experience difficulty chewing or swallowing. It almost seems like there is something blocking the throat. It may also become difficult to move the tongue or jaw depending on where the cancer is located in the mouth.
Some of the main risk factors for oral cancer are smoking or using smokeless tobacco, particularly along with alcohol consumption. A family history of the diseases is also a factor.
If you notice any abnormal areas in your mouth, it’s important to visit a dentist as soon as possible to get the area examined. If found in time, oral cancer can often be successfully treated.
Contact the office of Robert Chester, DDS right away if you feel you should be screened for oral cancer.