April is oral cancer awareness month. Oral cancer, while not the most common of cancers, has a higher mortality rate than other, more talked about, cancers. Statistics show that, on average, 132 people will be diagnosed with it every day. Early detection is important for fighting any type of cancer. Below we’ll discuss some symptoms to watch out for.
- A lump or thickening in the cheeks
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Persistent bad breath
- Weight loss
- Mouth sores that do not heal
- Red or white patches in the mouth or throat
- Numbness of the tongue or other areas of the mouth
- Jaw and teeth pain
- Changes in the voice
While these symptoms can be caused by other, more common, health issues, they are common signs of oral cancer. If you have any of these symptoms, and they last for more than two weeks, set up an appointment with a dentist or doctor. They can examine to see if the symptoms are caused by more common ailments or are signs of oral cancer.