Experts explained that oral cancer is more common than thought and routine checks to detect its early signs are vital.
According to data from the Oral Health Foundation, in 2021 EnglandNearly 3,000 people died of oral cancer in , 46 percent more than a decade ago. Experts fear that long waits to see the dentist may lead to an increase in oral cancer deaths.
Emphasizing the importance of timely diagnosis, dentist Neil Sikka shared the warning signs that people should pay attention to.
Here are the symptoms of oral cancer that you should consider…
Ulcers that do not heal within three weeks may be a sign of oral cancer. Multi-person sores are common and usually heal within two weeks.
But experts say ulcers that last longer than three weeks, recur repeatedly or grow near the back of the throat should be checked by a GP or dentist.
SWELLING IN THE MOUTH
Unexplained swelling around the mouth or jaw may be a sign of oral cancer. Experts say the lump may appear on the surface of the tongue, mouth, lips or gums.
RED OR WHITE STAINS IN THE MOUTH
Cancerous changes in the mouth may appear as red or white patches. Dr. Sikka warns that these can be tender or painful.
Cancer Research UK explains that although the spots are not cancer cells, they can lead to oral cancer if left untreated.
LOOSENING OF TEETH
Dr. If your teeth start to loosen for no apparent reason, this could be a sign of oral cancer, warns Sikka.
Since loosening of teeth is not normal in adults, doctors state that these symptoms should not be ignored.
Having difficulty swallowing food and drinks may be a sign of oral cancer. The disease can make eating painful or cause a burning sensation when chewing and swallowing food, according to Cancer Research.
According to Cancer Research UK, the voice of a person with oral cancer may become hoarser or quieter, similar to the voice of a cold. This may be a sign of hypopharyngeal cancer, which affects the back of the throat and potentially the vocal cords.