An unhealed sore or ulcer in the mouth is one the most common mouth cancer symptoms. The malignant growth of cells in the lining of the mouth results in mouth cancer.
This mouth cancer generally affects the lips (Lip Cancer), tongue and floor of the mouth.
Also the mouth cancer affects the gums (Gum Cancer), cheeks, roof of the mouth, hard and soft palate, tonsils and salivary glands.
As age proceeds there is a high possibility of developing the disease. Among the most affected are the people over the age of 45 years. According to statistics it is found that men are at high risk than the women. Let us gain some knowledge in risk factors before knowing the mouth cancer symptoms.
The other important risk factors for developing mouth cancer are smoking, use of tobacco and heavy alcohol consumption. The location of the mouth which is affected by cancer depends on the usage of the tobacco product at a specific position in the mouth. For example, a person who habitually tucks plugs of chewing tobacco into their left cheek may be prone to cancer of that cheek.
Use of tobacco accompanied with heavy alcohol consumption is a major threat to develop the disease. Even individually, over consumption of alcohol increases the risk of developing mouth cancer.
If detected in early stages mouth cancer can have good prognosis if treated promptly. Unfortunately this does not happen in most of the cases. The disease is often reported at an advanced stage by the patient by negligence or due to some other reason.
Some Common Mouth Cancer Symptoms or Mouth Cancer Signs
The most common mouth cancer symptoms or mouth cancer signs include:
- A painful or a painless visible mass or lump may be one of the early mouth cancer symptoms
- A sore or ulcer in the mouth that does not heal
- Discomfort or pain in the mouth that does not go away even after few weeks
- A condition called leukoplakia may develop in which white patches develop anywhere in the mouth
- A condition called erythroplakia in which red patches anywhere in the mouth
- A persistent blood blister
- Bleeding from the mass or ulcer.
- Loss of sensation anywhere in the mouth or numbness in the mouth
- Trouble swallowing becomes a common mouth cancer symptom
- Impaired tongue mobility.
- Difficulty moving the jaw.
- Speech changes, such as slurring or lack of clarity.
- Loose teeth and/or sore gums.
- Altered taste.
- Swollen lymph glands.
- A feeling that something is caught in the throat
- Loose teeth or dentures feeling uncomfortable and not fitting properly
- A change in voice or speech problems
- Weight loss
- Lump in the neck
According to the studies it is noted that the above mentioned mouth cancer symptoms like the formation of white or red patches can be signs of pre-malignancy. It should be noted that pre-malignant cells are abnormal, but they are not yet mouth cancer.
However if left untreated, pre-malignancy can go on to develop into mouth cancer. But if the condition is treated, then cancer can be prevented from developing.