Watch Out for Signs of Oral Cancer that Are Easy To Miss
Posted on 6/21/2021 by Andrew Horowitz, DMD, MD, FACS
Oral cancer characterizes the uncontrolled reproduction and growth of cancer cells in your cheeks, lips, or gums. It can also occur on your tongue or the pharynx. The aged, smokers, and individuals with human papillomavirus (HPV) are at a higher risk of contracting this type of cancer. However, if detected early, this oral cancer is treatable and curable. Among the signs of oral cancer that are easy to miss during diagnosis or individual observation include red or white patches in the mouth and tongue, lumps, and ulcers.
Red and White Patches
If you have vividly colored patches in your mouth that do not heal on their own after two weeks, you should contact us for a biopsy test. Also, white patches in your mouth and lips could be a sign of oral cancer. They usually result from a rough tooth, tobacco use, or broken denture. Individuals who chew the inside of their cheeks are also at risk of developing these patches. These patches usually signal abnormality in your tissue and will continue developing if untreated, becoming rough and hard, hence difficult to scrape off.
Mouth sores caused by oral cancer are common underneath your tongue and gums. Some are painful, while others are painless; hence, the need to check your mouth at least once a month for signs of mouth sores. To do this, pull your tongue using clean fingers and inspect its sides and underneath. Also, inspect the inside and out of your lips for these sores. Unlike canker sores, which are painful and visible, oral cancer sores are painless. These sores also have abnormal cell growth in the form of flat patches. Since it may be challenging to tell oral cancer signs on your own, scheduling regular visits with us at least twice a year is necessary to detect the disease early. You can also reduce your risk by avoiding recreational drugs such as tobacco and cigarettes. For more details on oral cancer, contact our office today.
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