Mouth cancer refers to uncontrollable growth of cells in any area of the mouth. Gums, cheek, the floor of the mouth, gingiva, and tongue are the most common places that can be affected by mouth cancer. It should be diagnosed and treated early in order to ward off from serious complications. There are certain risk factors that predispose patients to mouth cancer.
Mouth cancer occurs most commonly in men above 40 years of age. Heavy consumption of alcohol, smoking and betel quid increase the likelihood of developing oral cancer. 80% of the victims of mouth cancer are chronic smokers, and around 70% of people who develop mouth cancer are alcoholics. Males are more prone to develop this disease than their female counterparts.
Unfortunately, mouth cancer is highly likely to be diagnosed in an advanced stage, and that is why the survival rate of patients suffering from mouth cancer is very low. Bleeding, sore ulcer, dysphagia, white or red patches, unexplained growth, and painful chewing are some of the main symptoms of this disease.
The patient can be cured entirely if he is diagnosed and managed in an early stage of the disease. Mouth cancer of the lips and tongue have a better prognosis. On the other hand, cancer affecting gingiva, gums, the floor of the mouth and soft palate have a poor outlook. It is highly advised to have a dental checkup once a year as your dentist can locate any abnormal growth or patch that can ultimately transform into malignant cancer.
⇒ Now, we will discuss symptoms of mouth cancer.
1) Sore mouth ulcer
An ulcer is a broken lining of the mouth. Ulcers in mouth cancer are generally non-healing. They are usually single in number and can be easily differentiated from ulcers due to other causes like trauma, stress, anemia and a sharp tooth. If an ulcer lasts for more than three weeks, it is considered an alarming sign, and you should consult a health professional as soon as possible.
Heaving smoking and drinking can predispose you to develop these cancerous lesions. Most of the time, these ulcers develop under the tongue, but they can develop at any place of the mouth. Most of them are painful, but some mouth cancer patients may also report painless mouth ulcers. Rush to your doctor immediately if you detect a prolonged soreness in any area of your mouth. Your doctor can diagnose the condition with proper inspection of the oral cavity. A biopsy might be taken from the suspected lesion to rule out cancer. Surgery is an option to treat an early stage of the disease, but it is combined with radiation to treat an advanced stage of mouth cancer.