Oral cancer is extremely prevalent and has one of the lowest survival rates of all types of cancer. Many cancer patients develop complications from their cancer treatment, including overly sensitive teeth, dry mouth, and accelerated tooth decay. Oral cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, but appears most often on the tongue.
Oral cancer usually first appears as lumps, breaks, or “patchy” areas in the tissues of the mouth. Additional signs include:
- Unusual bleeding or persistent mouth sores that won’t heal
- Difficulty swallowing
- Growths or lumps in the neck or throat
These symptoms are often painless, making self-diagnosis difficult. However, if a tumor is found, surgery is usually required to remove the tumor and restore your oral health.
To help prevent oral cancer, stay away from tobacco and alcohol. It is also important to stay away from certain kinds of foods and overexposure to the sun. Eating a fruit and vegetable-rich diet will help reduce your chance of receiving oral cancer, along with maintain good oral hygiene and attending your regular dental check-ups.