Oral Cancer Symptoms

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Symptoms of oral cancer can vary depending on the location and stage of the cancer. Common signs and symptoms may include:

  • Mouth Sores: Persistent mouth sores that do not heal within a few weeks, or that recur.
  • Red or White Patches: Red or white patches (leukoplakia or erythroplakia) on the gums, tongue, or lining of the mouth.
  • Lumps or Thickening: Lumps, thickening, or rough spots in the mouth or throat.
  • Pain or Discomfort: Persistent pain or discomfort in the mouth, throat, or ear.
  • Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia): Difficulty swallowing, especially if it worsens over time.
  • Persistent Sore Throat or Hoarseness: A sore throat or hoarseness that persists for an extended period, unrelated to a cold or flu.
  • Changes in Voice: Changes in voice quality, such as hoarseness or a raspy voice, which may indicate involvement of the vocal cords.
  • Numbness or Tingling: Numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling in the mouth or tongue.
  • Swelling: Persistent swelling, thickening, or lumps in the mouth, neck, or throat.
  • Loose Teeth: Loose teeth or dentures that no longer fit properly.
  • Ear Pain: Ear pain that occurs on one side and is not associated with other ear problems.
  • Unexplained Weight Loss: Unexplained weight loss, especially if accompanied by other symptoms.

It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other, more common conditions. However, if you experience any persistent or concerning symptoms, it’s essential to consult a healthcare provider for a thorough evaluation and appropriate management. Early detection and treatment of oral cancer can significantly improve outcomes and reduce the risk of complications. Regular dental check-ups and oral cancer screenings are important for early detection and prevention.

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