20.07.2021 – 20:38
Oral cancer is a type of cancer of the head and neck that affects the mouth, gums, inner cheeks and / or tongue.
A number of symptoms can be associated with oral cancer, and they vary depending on the location of the tumor as well as how widespread it is. Furthermore, various complications can occur as a direct result of oral cancer (for example, difficulty in chewing) or as a result of treatment (for example, mouth sores caused by radiation).
While oral cancers can be detected accidentally, such as during a dental appointment, some can cause symptoms that prompt medical attention.
Some of the most common symptoms of oral cancer include:
Non-healing sore or blister: A sore or blister in the mouth that will not heal is the most common sign.
Persistent pain: General pain in the mouth or throat may occur that will not go away.
White or red areas inside the mouth: May develop on the floor of the mouth or on the bottom of the tongue. In the early stages, leukoplakia (white patches) and erythroplakia (raised, red spots) are signs of dysplasia, a pre-cancerous condition. If left untreated, they can progress and become cancerous.
Bite line leukoplakia is very common and appears on the mucosa of the inner part of the lips (opposite the point where the upper and lower teeth meet). This type is benign and is not usually considered pre-malignant (precancerous).
The following symptoms may occur intermittently or may gradually worsen with oral cancer:
Difficulty chewing or speaking, jaw movement, tongue movement
A feeling that there is something in the throat
Swelling or lumps on cheeks, jaw or neck
Unexplained numbness and / or pain
Tooth or jaw changes: This may include dentures that do not fit properly or loose or painful teeth.
Depending on the location and stage of the cancer, different physical and quality of life complications can occur as a result of the cancer or the therapy needed to treat it.
Removal of teeth, tongue and / or bones
If the cancer has grown on a bone in the face or tongue, it may need to be surgically removed. A portion of the jaw will be removed for stage 3 or 4 of oral cancer.
Radiation necrosis, a rare complication of radiation therapy, may occur upon completion of treatment.
Surgery can significantly change a person’s physical appearance and can affect speech and eating. Reconstructive surgery and / or the use of dentures can help minimize these effects.
Oral cancer can contribute to breathing problems due to cancer blockage or injuries due to treatment.
For example, a tumor may partially block the airways, potentially requiring a tracheostomy. During a tracheostomy, a hole is made in the front of the neck. The hole is kept open with an empty tracheostomy tube to create a new airway.
Malnutrition and dehydration
With oral cancer, you may experience swelling of the mouth, sores, dry mouth, and / or loss of taste. Impaired chewing and / or swallowing can also be a problem due to tumor obstructions, injuries, or treatment-related constrictions.
These issues can interfere with food. If you can not get enough food from eating, your doctor may recommend placing a nutrient tube that allows nutrients to flow into the stomach.
Persistent or unexplained mouth or throat symptoms that last for two weeks or longer require a medical evaluation by a doctor or dentist.
Serious causes can include oral cancer, lip cancer, or oropharyngeal cancer. Throat cancer can affect the tonsils, the soft palate, the back of the tongue, and the back and sides of the throat.
While cancer is a rare cause of symptoms, there may be another problem that needs treatment – such as a cavity or an infection.