If you ever notice a lesion in your mouth that has you concerned whether it is oral cancer or not, you need to have it checked out by a dentist or physician immediately. Oral cancer can appear anywhere in the mouth such as the lips, tongue, palate or just about anywhere you can imagine. And while certain people may be at higher risks for developing oral cancer, it can happen to anyone. Your dentist is able to perform an oral cancer screening on you to determine what the lesion is. Or he or she may refer you to a specialist for more careful examination. Oral cancer screening involves a visual exam of your head and neck region as well as your oral cavity along with the examination of your X-rays to look for any suspicious lesions. If you have noticed anything out of the ordinary you should make an appointment and point the lesion out to your dentist for further examination.
Cases Which are More Likely to be Oral Cancer
1. Exercise more caution if you are a high risk patients.
- If you have had a history of cancer before then you should be on the look out for oral cancer
- Oral cancer is much more prevalent in smokers and heavy drinkers so be on the lookout for oral cancer if this applies to you
But keep in mind that oral cancer can also occur without any previous sign or risk factor. Screen yourself periodically and what at your dentist request an oral cancer screening to try and catch any suspicious lesions in earlier stages.
2. Persistent red or white lesion patch. Cancer lesions do not disappear on their own so anything that goes away is most likely not a cancerous lesion. You dentist or oral surgeon can test the suspicious lesion to see it it contains cancer cells or not and advise you as to what treatment will be required.
- Oral cancer lesions are typically white or red.
- They do not disappear on their own.
- They usually have irregular boarders and are nodular shaped.
- They tend to be ulcerative which means they can bleed.
- They typically don’t cause any pain in their earlier stages.
3. Oral cancer will eventually lead up to pain and other systemic symptoms. Initially oral cancer will not cause any pain but as it progresses you may start noticing symptom.
- Pain or numbness in the mouth or tongue.
- You might notice your teeth are not touching like they used to before.
- Experiencing difficulty chewing or swallowing
- Difficulty moving and maneuvering your tongue or lips
- Other symptoms affect your entire body and include unexplained weight loss or fatigue