How to Know You Have Oral Cancer

How to Know You Have Oral Cancer

Nov 01, 2020

When people talk about oral problems, hardly do they ever think in the lines of cancer. It is almost always about what could go wrong with your teeth. However, many patients have had their oral health sabotaged because of oral cancer.

Understanding how dreadful oral cancer can be is the only way to help you be more proactive about caring for your dental health. The risk factors of getting cancer, and the different symptoms to notify you are all important in this pursuit.

What Is Oral Cancer?

Cancer is a broad term that is used to define the uncontrollable growth of tissues, which gradually surround and begin to destroy other healthy tissues in your body. Oral cancer, therefore, is a type of cancer that attacks the oral cavity. In most cases, cancer manifests as lesions or sores that stubbornly refuse to go away. Having oral cancer is nothing to smile about. If anything, it can be the cause of death, having that cancer as a disease is life-threatening. In that case, like with any other type of cancer, the sooner you detect and treat it, the better your chances of curing it.

Where Does Oral Cancer Begin?

One thing you will learn during oral cancer screening is that this type of cancer is not specific to one area of the oral cavity. In most cases, cancer will attack the soft tissues of the mouth, hence targeting the inner cheeks and the gum tissues. You will notice some mouth sores that do not seem to go away even after treatment. Eventually, the mouth sores increase both in size and number.

Other than that, understand that oral cancer can be of many types, including the following:

  1. Cancer of the throat (pharynx)
  2. Lip cancer
  3. Cancer of the gums
  4. Tongue cancer
  5. Cancer of the floor of the mouth, to mention a few

How Will You Know That You Have Oral Cancer?

The only sure way to ascertain that you have cancer of the mouth is an oral cancer screening process. It involves a series of tests that will examine and analyze the cells in your oral cavity, to check for any presence of precancerous cells. During the tests, a biopsy may be needed to examine the nature of the cells in your mouth.

Screenings are important because they alert you of how high your chances of getting cancer in your mouth are. The tests also help determine with certainty whether you have any cancerous cells in your mouth, or simply a different oral disease. This is the importance of cancer screening because it allows you to be aware of your bill of health early enough.

Still, there are some tell-signs you can consider as indicators of the presence of cancerous cells in any part of your oral cavity:

  1. Mouth sores – they are not only painful but persistent. They do not easily go away, even with over-the-counter medication.
  2. Velvety white patches in your mouth – these patches may not yet be mouth sores, but they are unsightly and uncomfortable to have. They can appear in any area of your mouth, particularly where the cancerous cells are.
  3. Bumpy and lumpy swellings in your mouth – they make your mouth feel rough.
  4. Bleeding in your mouth – it is usually unexplained. While bleeding can indicate gum disease, it can also be a sign of oral cancer. You may not know until you go for a screening test.
  5. Hoarseness in your voice – this change in your voice will happen strangely, with indicators like a sore throat
  6. Tenderness and numbness in any area of your face and neck

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Now that you know a few ways you can tell if you have cancer of the mouth, you must learn about the causes. Technically, there is no particular cause that leads to cancer of the mouth. Many are just risk factors that compromise the state of your oral health, encouraging the development of precancerous cells. Some of those risk factors include:

  1. Smoking and other tobacco usages
  2. Excessive intake of alcohol
  3. Family history and genetics – cancer is one of those diseases that can easily be carried through different generations in genetics.
  4. Excessive exposure to sunlight without protection – it puts you at risk of lip cancer.

©2022 Union Hill Dental | Privacy Policy | Web Design, Digital Marketing & SEO By Adit

Call Now Book Now