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Recognising the Signs: Symptoms of Mouth Cancer

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Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, can manifest in various ways, making it crucial to be aware of its symptoms for early detection and treatment. Here are some key signs to watch out for:

1.      Persistent Mouth Sores: Ulcers or sores that don’t heal within a few weeks can be a warning sign. They may appear as white or red patches in the mouth or on the lips.
2.      Unexplained Bleeding: Bleeding in the mouth without any apparent cause should not be ignored. It can occur spontaneously or during activities like brushing teeth or eating.
3.      Difficulty Swallowing or Chewing: Persistent pain or difficulty when swallowing or chewing can indicate a problem, especially if it’s accompanied by ear pain.
4.      Changes in Speech: Slurred speech or difficulty articulating words can be a symptom, especially if it persists over time and is not related to any other known condition.
5.      Persistent Sore Throat or Hoarseness: If a sore throat or hoarseness persists for more than a few weeks without improvement, it’s essential to get it checked out by a healthcare professional.
6.      Numbness or Pain: Numbness, pain, or tenderness in any area of the mouth, tongue, or lips may be indicative of a developing issue.
7.      Difficulty Moving the Jaw or Tongue: Restricted movement of the jaw or tongue, or feeling like something is caught in the throat, should be investigated further.
8.      Unexplained Weight Loss: Significant and unexplained weight loss can sometimes be a sign that something is amiss in the body, including the presence of cancer.
9.      Swelling or Lumps: Any lumps, thickening, rough spots, crusts, or eroded areas in the mouth or on the lips should be examined promptly.
10.     Change in Denture Fit: If dentures suddenly don’t fit properly or cause discomfort, it could be due to changes in the mouth’s tissues, which may be related to cancer.

It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, but if they persist for more than two weeks, it’s crucial to see a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation. Early detection significantly improves the chances of successful treatment and recovery from mouth cancer. Regular dental check-ups and self-examinations can also aid in early detection and prevention. If you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate to seek medical advice promptly. Your health is worth it.

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