Mouth Cancer, most commonly known as oral cancer, refers to any cancerous formation inside the mouth, commonly caused by excessive smoking and high alcohol intake. It is a disease which claims the lives of about 30,000 people in the United States each year. It is a relatively easy disease to diagnose; you just need to look out for the following signs in order to be aware of a possible case of mouth cancer:
Difficulty in swallowing and chewing. Since the primary affected area in mouth cancer is the mouth, any person afflicted with this condition may have difficulty performing normal oral functions, including chewing, moving the jaw, speaking, or moving the tongue. Cancer cells often degrade and debilitate the affected organs, making it close to impossible to perform normal actions properly.
Stiffness in the tongue and jaw. People with mouth cancer often experience a relative stiffness of the tongue and the jaw. This numbness of two important oral parts may very well be due to mouth cancer.
Lumps in the mouth. Cancer is often characterized by tumors or lumps that form in the infected area, so if you notice some lumps in your mouth or lips, be wary that it may be due to mouth cancer. These lumps are usually small and are often pale-colored, and can be painless initially but may develop a burning sensation when it is in a more advanced stage.
White and red patches in the mouth and lips. This is probably the most common symptom of mouth cancer. If you find white, or red, or both patches in the mouth, seek medical help immediately.
Ear aches. Your ears are laterally connected to your mouth, so any infection in the area may cause ear ache from time to time. However, consult an experienced physician to confirm if this is indeed a case of mouth cancer, for it could be a sign of something else.
Bleeding in the mouth. More advanced stages of oral cancer often cause bleeding in the mouth due to degraded tissue and damaged cells. If bleeding is very profuse and is not at all related to any gum disease, take it as a warning sign and consult a doctor immediately.
If you're having serious problems and difficulty quitting smoking, take these warning signs as a cautionary tale of what may eventually come if you don't stop this damaging habit. Tobacco is a seriously toxic substance that doesn't offer much benefit to the body and could eventually lead you to your death.
If you find yourself suffering from any of these symptoms, the first thing you should do is consult with a doctor immediately. Most cancers are prevented from worsening and spreading throughout the body through early detection and treatment, so make sure to take these warning signs very seriously. Remember, thousands of lives have been claimed by oral cancer already, and the statistics are increasing over the years. Take precautionary measures before it's too late.