How Does Oral Cancer Usually Present Itself?

Posted on 1/11/2021 by Cole Anderson, DMD, MS
How Does Oral Cancer Usually Present Itself?Besides getting regular dental checkups, it is important to have regular oral cancer screenings annually. You can also benefit from learning more about oral cancer and finding out how this type of condition appears in the mouth or on the lips.

Where Does Oral Cancer Usually Appear and What Are Some of the Signs?

Oral cancer may appear inside the mouth or on the lips. It can develop on the inside of the cheeks, the gums, or the tongue. Often, it triggers changes in the skin, such as growths or sores that do not heal. Oral cancer is classified as a type of cancer of head and neck, coming under the category of oral and oropharyngeal cancer. People with the cancer do not notice any notable signs, initially, that they have the cancer. The cancer may appear in different ways, depending on the location and the stage of the disease. Therefore, oral cancer may present as a patch of white and red tissue; a nodule or lump near the molars or inside the cheek; a small bumpy area near the front teeth; growths of tissue on the palate; oozing sores inside the mouth that do not heal; noticeable red patches on the tongue; and grayish or whitish tissue.

What are Some of the Symptoms?

Oral cancer, in the early stage, is usually symptomless. Most mouth cancers (around 90%) are made of squamous cells, which are flat and, therefore, may cover the surface of the lips, tongue, or mouth. If you see a thick patch in these spots, you need to schedule a screening to ensure your health and prevent a further spread of the cancer. As oral cancer progresses, you may notice symptoms, such as pain and bleeding in the mouth, numbness in the mouth, a lump in the gums, red and white patches, or difficulty chewing or swallowing.

In summation, oral cancer usually presents itself in the form of red and white patches. Mouth sores usually do not heal and a patient normally has problems with swallowing. To support your health overall, give us a call to learn about your surgical options if oral cancer is found.

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