Cancer doesn’t seem to care where it lives in your body. That means it can even appear in your mouth, but unless you see a dentist regularly, you may not even notice the red flags.
Almost 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer (which includes the soft palette and back of the tongue) each year, and of that number almost 10,000 will not survive, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. Mouth cancer may not be talked about as much as other cancers, but the foundation said it’s more deadly than others including cervical cancer and thyroid cancer. Here are six things to know…
1. Oral Cancer Has Varied Symptoms
According to WebMD, the symptoms can be wide-ranging, which is another good reason to see your dentist or doctor to sort it out. These symptoms can include rough spots on the gums, speckled patches in the mouth, unexplained bleeding, and even the feeling of having something stuck in the back of your throat.
The source adds that oral cancers may also make themselves known by making it difficult to chew or swallow, and you may have a chronically sore throat or ear pain. “Dramatic” weight loss can be another sign of cancer, it adds.