Oral cancer can develop in any part of the mouth, including on the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, roof of the mouth, sinuses, and throat. Like other kinds of cancer, oral cancer can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early.
You are the most important factor in the early diagnosis of oral cancer, through routine screenings by a professional and self-examinations between checkups.
Symptoms of Oral Cancer
Although these symptoms may be caused by other, less serious problems, it is worthwhile to visit our office to rule out the possibility of oral cancer. The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Red or white spots or sores anywhere in the oral cavity
- A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal
- A lump, thickening, or rough spot
- Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips
- Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
Oral cancer is often treated with surgery alone or radiation alone to treat the condition in its earliest stages. In more advanced cases, a combination of surgery and radiation is the most common treatment. In the late stages of oral cancer, a combination of radiation with chemotherapy, with or without surgery, is usually used.
- The best way to prevent oral cancer is to avoid all tobacco products and drink alcohol only in moderation.
- Maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
- Limit your exposure to the sun and always wear UV-A/B-blocking, sun-protective lotions on your skin as well as your lips.
- During your next dental appointment, ask us to perform an oral exam. Early detection of oral cancer can improve the chances of successful treatment.