7 Oral Cancer Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Miss

7 Oral Cancer Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Miss

Symptoms of oral cancer include difficulty chewing, bumps and sores, and white or red patches in the mouth. Early detection and treatment of oral cancer can help prevent the cancer from growing further or spreading to other areas.

Oral cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth and reproduction of cells in certain areas of the mouth. It can appear on the inside of the cheeks, under the middle and front of the tongue, or on the tissue lining the mouth or gums. More men than women are diagnosed with oral cancer.

Oral cancer warning signs and symptoms

If a person has difficulty swallowing and a sore throat, they should see a doctor. Oral cancer symptoms vary, but anyone who experiences any of the following symptoms for more than 2 weeks should see a doctor for a diagnosis:

– difficulty chewing or swallowing
– a lump or sore area in the mouth, throat or lips
– a white or red spot in the mouth
– difficulty moving the tongue or jaw
– unexpected weight loss
– a sore or ulcer that does not heal or bleeds
– tenderness, pain or lump anywhere in the mouth or lips.

However, it is important to note that these are not definitive symptoms of oral cancer, but may be caused by other conditions such as allergies or infections.

What are the causes and risk factors?

Experts believe that mutations in cellular DNA cause cancer by stimulating abnormal growth and cell death. Although it is still unclear what triggers the initial mutation in many cases, some specific factors may increase the risk of oral cancer.

These include in particular:

Tobacco and alcohol consumption: Any form of tobacco consumption involves the entry of carcinogenic substances into the mouth, which greatly increases the risk of oral cancer. Excessive alcohol consumption can also increase the risk.

Age: the risk of oral cancer increases with age, the average age of diagnosis is 62 years.

Human papillomavirus (HPV): This is a sexually transmitted infection that is strongly associated with several forms of oral cancer.

Sun exposure: The sun emits rays that can burn the lips and trigger the development of oral cancer.

Gender: Men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer as women, but it’s not clear why.


As with most cancers, oral cancer cannot always be prevented. Some risk factors for oral cancer, such as being male or older, cannot be avoided. However, certain lifestyle factors can reduce the risk of oral cancer, including:

– avoid tobacco
– consume alcohol in moderation
– have a healthy diet
– use sunscreen, sunscreen or lip balm when exposed to the sun
– exercise regularly
– have good oral hygiene
– go to the dentist regularly.

Why is early detection so important?

Early diagnosis is crucial for most forms of cancer. Oral cancer treatment usually involves a combination of therapies such as radiation and chemotherapy, which are much more effective in the early stages. If the cancer has spread to other areas, it is much more difficult to isolate and treat. If the cancer has not spread to surrounding tissue, the 5-year survival rate for cancer of the oral cavity, lip, tongue, and floor of the mouth ranges from 75 to 93 percent. These numbers drop if the cancer has spread to surrounding tissue.

Remember :

Warning signs of mouth cancer are mouth ulcers, white or red patches, tenderness or pain. Anyone with these symptoms should see their doctor. Early diagnosis increases the chances of successful treatment. Quitting smoking and using tobacco products can reduce your risk of developing oral cancer.

* Presse Santé strives to convey knowledge about health in a language accessible to all. IN NO CIRCUMSTANCES can the information provided replace the advice of a medical professional.
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