Stephenville, TX

Abilene, Stephenville and Brownwood, TX

Early Signs of Oral Cancer

ENT specialist checking for swollen lymph nodes in woman’s neck.

Oropharyngeal or oral cancer is identified in over 50,000 individuals each year. And that’s sad because oral cancers can have a fairly high rate of mortality. Most of these individuals are 60 or older old, but not exclusively.

Oral cancer isn’t that aggressive, so that isn’t why it has a high mortality rate. Instead, these cancers are frequently challenging to treat because they’re not evident. Oral cancer, much like most cancers, becomes harder to manage when it reaches advanced stages and this is when it’s usually detected.

Oral cancer is commonly very treatable when discovered early. Watching for early signs of oral cancer is one of the best things you can do.

What are some early signs of oral cancer?

Scheduling a hearing exam with us is the best way to get early diagnosis. We will be capable of screening for possible symptoms or presentations of a range of cancer types.

Between visits, there are some signs to watch for. Here are some of the most common early signs of oral cancer:

  • When you’re chewing or speaking, you have difficulty moving your jaw.
  • Tingling, numbness, or loss of sensation in the lower lip.
  • Loose teeth. If you have loose teeth that aren’t related to dental or hygiene issues (your dentist or periodontist will be able to tell whether that’s the case or not), you should consult a doctor.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Your mouth has patches of red or white tissue. The white tissue is identified as leukoplakia and the red tissue is known as erythroplakia. In some instances, these patches could be an early indication of cancer, but in most situations, it’s nothing to be worried about.

You should also get a consultation if you feel like you have something lodged in your throat (like a growth), especially if this feeling is consistent.

When you go to an oral cancer screening, what happens?

We will take a good look around your mouth and pay close attention to any red or white patches. That’s because this red or white tissue can develop into lesions, and lesions can ultimately become cancerous.

In most situations, a visual examination will be sufficient. But in some situations, we may need to do a biopsy to identify whether some tissue is something to worry about.

Avoiding cancer

Cancer is more common when there is:

  • Tobacco use. Smoking tobacco products can greatly increase your risk of developing a wide variety of cancers, including oral cancer.
  • Poor nutrition. Some data indicates that including fruits and vegetables in your diet can decrease your risk of developing cancer.
  • Excessive drinking. Cancer and alcohol have been linked with each other. Limiting your drinking (especially when that drinking is combined with tobacco use) can help lower your risks.
  • Family history. You’ll have an increased risk of developing oral cancer if it runs in your family.

Your exposure to the sun should be limited: Your danger of lip and skin cancer will go up with extended exposure to the sun.

Routine screenings are essential

The best way to help minimize your chance of a negative outcome from oral cancer is to make an appointment with us. With regular screenings, the chances are better that we will be able to detect any possible cancers early, before they spread or become too advanced. This can substantially better your prognosis.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

Questions? Talk To Us.