Common Signs and Symptoms for Early Detection of Oral Cancer

Common Signs and Symptoms for Early Detection of Oral Cancer

June 9, 2023

Oral cancer has become more common in people of various ages. Unfortunately, people usually pay less attention to their oral health and sometimes mistake early symptoms of oral cancer for those of other dental diseases. The side effects of oral cancer can be severe if the disease is not treated early. We recommend going for oral cancer screening near you regularly for early detection and treatment. We also came up with this article to shed more light on oral cancer and common symptoms to be on the lookout for.

What is Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer, otherwise known as mouth cancer, is a form of cancer that affects the mouth. In some cases, the symptoms of oral cancer can closely resemble those of other less severe diseases, making it hard to self-diagnose. For example, patients may develop mild symptoms such as patches and sores that bleed forming around the mouth. If not treated early, the disease can spread throughout the mouth and throat region, affecting other parts such as the head and neck region. About 63% of people with oral cancer stay alive for more than five years when the cancer is diagnosed and treated started early.

How Oral Cancer Affects the Body?

Oral cancer can affect your mouth, tongue, and throat. The parts of the mouth and throat we listed are generally referred to as the oropharynx, which is why cancer affecting the oropharynx is called “oropharyngeal cancer.” We will mainly be focusing on oral cancer, which is a cancer that affects the mouth and oral cavity. The oral cavity consists of the gums, lips, mouth roof and tongue, and the lining inside your mouth cheeks.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Many cases of oral cancer begin in the oral cavity, more specifically, the squamous cells. Squamous cells are flat and look like fish scales when looked closed under the view of a microscope. The squamous cells are usually not harmful until they become cancerous, change their DNA, and start multiplying. With time the cells overmultiply and start spreading to other areas inside your mouth, neck, head, and body parts. Our dentist in Kingwood, TX, 77339, can carry out tests that help in dictating these cancerous cells before they multiply and spread to other areas.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

The most common symptom of oral cancer is mouth and throat patches which vary in color. Below are other common symptoms associated with oral cancer:

  • Lip and mouth sores that bleed easily and take longer to heel
  • Crusty or rough spots on your gums, lips, or inside your mouth
  • Numbness, tenderness, or pain in your mouth, neck, and face with no known cause
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or just in general problems with jaw and tongue movements
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Sudden weight loss and earaches

What are the Stages of Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer screening can help determine which stage of cancer a patient is suffering from. The staging information gathered after the tests helps the doctor choose the best treatment option and can also be used to predict the chances of recovery. Stages of oral cancer range from t1 to t3, with the t standing for the size and location of the primary tumor.

T1: this stage is when the tumor in your mouth is 2 centimeters or less in size.

T2: the stage occurs when the tumor is 2 centimeters or bigger but not larger than 4 centimeters.

T3: this is an advanced stage where the tumor is larger than 4 centimeters.

How Oral Cancer is Diagnosed and Treated?

Oral Cancer Diagnosis

When under oral cancer screening, our dentist in Kingwood, TX will check for signs of oral cancer. The tests will be thorough and may include preliminary follow-up tests, and if necessary, your dentist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for more tests on the neck and head region. Below are some of the tests to expect during oral cancer screening:

Physical Exams: your doctor will look inspect your mouth, head, and neck for potential signs of cancer or pre-cancer.

Scrape Biopsy: dentist use a small spatula or brush to carefully scrape the area with oral cancer symptoms to obtain cells which they’ll later test for cancer.

Incisional Biopsy: during incisional Biopsy, your healthcare provider will remove tiny pieces of tissue to acquire cells for cancer screening.

Direct Pharyngoscopy and Laryngoscopy: using a small mirror held through a thin handle, our dentist inspects the base of your tongue and part of your voice box for signs of oral cancer.

Indirect Laryngoscopy and Pharyngoscopy: in this diagnosis stage, your dentist may use an endoscope to look at your throat and mouth areas that weren’t visible when viewed using a mirror.

Oral Cancer Treatment

There are three common ways cancer is treated, and they usually range from surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Your healthcare provider will be the one that is best suited for the patient depending on the cancer stage they are on. Below are factors considered during oral cancer treatment:

  • Age of the patient
  • The patient’s general health
  • The kind of oral cancer the patient is diagnosed with
  • Whether cancer has spread to other regions, such as the throat

Get Oral Cancer Screening Near You

Oral cancer is a disease that can cause complications if left untreated. It’s important that you go for regular oral cancer screening as some of the early symptoms of the disease can go unnoticed. Contact Houston Oral Healthcare Specialists to get oral cancer screening in Kingwood, TX with diagnosis, and treatment. We use modern dental devices to carry out thorough screening so that even the smallest signs of dental problems don’t go undetected.

©2024 Houston Oral Healthcare Specialists | Privacy Policy | Web Design, Digital Marketing & SEO By Adit

Font Resize
Call Now Book Now
Click to listen highlighted text!