The number of cases of oral cancer diagnosed in the UK has risen by over a third in the last ten years, but many people ae still unaware of the warning signs. Do you know the symptoms of oral cancer? If you don’t, you’ve come to the right place.
What are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
Even though oral cancer has become increasingly common, many people still don’t know what kinds of symptoms they should be looking out for, and this means that many cases are diagnosed at a ate stage when treatment is much less likely to be successful. To improve survival rates, it’s essential that more people know about the potential warning signs of oral cancer. These include:
- Abnormal swelling in the mouth or lumps in the mouth or throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Unexplained oral bleeding or pain in the mouth or throat
- Persistent sore throat
- Red or white patches in the mouth
- Sores or ulcers that take longer than 2 weeks to heal
- Numbness in the mouth
- Unexplained weight loss
If you notice any of these symptoms, see your GP as quickly as possible. It’s very unlikely that there is anything to worry about, but it’s always best to be on the safe side.
Reducing your Risk of Oral Cancer
The most common risk factors for oral cancer are smoking and drinking regularly. If you’re a smoker and a heavy drinker, you’re more than 30 times more likely to develop oral cancer than a non-smoker who rarely drinks. Other risk factors include a poor diet lacking in nutrients, and exposure to the HPV (human papilloma virus).
It may not be possible to prevent oral cancer, but seeing your dentist on a regular basis will help to ensure that any symptoms are detected early. Your dentist is trained to spot early warning signs, and they can refer you for further tests at a stage when treatment is much more likely to be successful.
If you’re worried about oral cancer, or you’d like to find out more, don’t hesitate to call us today.