12 Facts About Oral Cancer

Educate yourself about the warning signs, symptoms, and facts about oral cancer. Hopefully, you never need to apply this information to your life, but better to know and catch any potential signs early.

1. A lump in the mouth, throat, or lip could be a sign of cancer. Oral cancer can manifest in many different ways. Like other cancers, one sign can be a lump. If you notice a lump in your throat or mouth does not go away over time, have it looked at by a medical professional.

2. Oral cancer can be manifest through ear pain. Because the ear, nose, and throat are all connected, oral cancer can be manifest through pain in the ear

3. Oral cancer can lead to a change in your voice. If your voice is more horse or low than usual and this symptom persists, it could be a sign of oral cancer. Of course, there can be other things that are lowering your voice too.

4. White or red patches on the gums, tongue, or anywhere in the mouth could be a sign of oral cancer. There can be other reasons for red and white patches in your mouth or throat, but if these appear, have a doctor take a look.

5. Oral cancer can mean bleeding, numbness, or pain in the mouth. If you have unexplained bleeding, numbness, or other pain in your mouth or throat, get to the bottom of it. There is a reason it’s happening, and it could potentially be oral cancer.

6. People who smoke are at a higher risker for oral cancer. Smoking puts you at risk for many cancers, particularly oral cancer. As your mouth, throat, and lungs are exposed to harmful substances, cancer can develop.

7. Heavy drinkers are at a higher risk of oral cancer. Excessive alcohol consumption is also a risk factor for oral cancer. Cut back on the drinks to lower your risk.

8. Oral cancer usually needs to be diagnosed with mirrors and lighted tubes to examine hard to see areas. Because it often grows in hard to see places, oral cancer can go unnoticed for some time, especially if you don’t have any obvious symptoms. Doctors may need to get creative with their examinations.

9. HPV has been linked to oral cancers. HPV-positive cancers can form in the back of the throat and be difficult to detect. This type of cancer does respond well to treatment.

10. There are about 50,000 cases of oral cancer in the US every year. It is not the most common form of cancer, but it does happen more than you may think.

11. The risk for oral cancer increases as you get older. Oral cancer is extremely rare in children and young adults. It’s much more common in ages 30 plus.

12. Oral cancer is more common in men. According to cancer.org, men are twice as likely to develop oral cancer than women.