The Signs and Symptoms of Oral CancerRecently the American Cancer Society has projected that an estimated 39,500 people will develop oral cancer, and out of this number, 7,500 of these people will die. The idea of cancer in any part of your body is scary, but typically when cancer is caught early, it can be highly treatable. The best thing you can do in order to protect yourself and your family is to have knowledge and awareness of the early warning signs and the preventative care for this disease.

Oral cancer occurs most often in the following areas, the tongue, tonsils, the floor of the mouth, the lips, gums, the upper part of your throat, as well as on other parts of the mouth. However, oral cancer typically starts on the lips or on the base of the mouth before it spreads to other areas. Luckily, oral cancer often shows warning signs early on, and if you are proactive and visit a doctor as soon as your symptoms develop your treatment options are good. Early signs and symptoms include:

  • A sore that doesn’t heal
  • A lump or thickening of the skin in the mouth
  • A whitish or reddish patch on the lining of the mouth
  • Bleeding in the mouth
  • Loose fitting dentures or teeth
  • An earache
  • A sore throat or jaw
  • Having difficulty swallowing or chewing

Oral cancer most often takes the form of carcinomas, which begin in the cells on the surface of the mouth, called squamous cells. These squamous cell carcinomas can then spread to other parts of the body via the lymph system or the body’s blood stream. Although scary, one the best ways to protect yourself is to routinely check for symptoms of oral cancer. If you find that you have been suffering from these symptoms for more than two weeks, it is best to get checked out by your doctor.