Oral cancer is the term used for cancers that affect the oral cavity. This could look similar to the common issue you experience on the lips or within your mouth, such as white spots or sores that are bleeding.
Oral cancer is a disease that has a myriad of indicators and signs that could be misinterpreted as usual problems or changes that occur in your mouth. For instance, you might find patches in your mouth that are difficult to scratch away. These could be precancerous.
The most common signs and symptoms of oral cancer:
- Lip sores inside your mouth that are easily bleeding and do not heal in two weeks.
- Cracked or rough spots on your gums, lips, or the inside of your mouth.
- Mouth areas that bleed without reason.
- The sensation of numbness, pain, or tenderness on your neck, face, or inside your mouth can happen without a clear cause.
- Trouble swallowing or chewing, talking or shifting your tongue or jaw.
- Unintentional weight loss.
- Persistent bad breath.
There is no way to stop oral cancer. However, you can lower the risk of developing mouth cancer if:
- Stop smoking or don't begin: Suppose you are a smoker Stop. If you do not use tobacco, do not begin. Smoking tobacco, whether it's chewed or smoked, can expose the cells of your mouth to harmful chemicals that cause cancer.
- Drink alcohol in moderation when at any time: Consumption of alcohol in excess can damage the cells in your mouth, exposing them to mouth cancer. If you decide to consume alcohol, make sure you do it moderately. For healthy adults, this is one drink per day for women and men of every age, older men over age 65, and two drinks per day for males aged 65 or younger.
- Avoid exposure to the sun on your lips: Keep your skin protected on your lips from the sun by keeping your lips at a shaded location whenever you can. Wear a broad-brimmed cap that effectively covers your face, even your lips. Apply a lip cream with sunscreen to your regular sun protection routine.
The type and stage of cancer at the time of diagnosis affect the prognosis for oral malignancies. Additionally, it is based on your age, general health, and how well you tolerate and respond to treatment. Although treatment for stage 1 as well as stage 2 malignancies may be less complicated and have a higher probability of success, early diagnosis is essential.
Your doctor will recommend routine check-ups after treatment to ensure your recovery. Typically, your visits will include physical examinations, blood tests, X-rays, including CT scans. In case you detect anything unusual, be certain to follow up with your dentist or oncologist.