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4069 Mouth-Cancer

Mouth Cancer

Mouth Cancer

Mouth cancer refers to cancer that develops in any part of the mouth. Mouth cancers can occur on the lips, gums, tongue, inside lining of the cheeks, the roof of the mouth as well as on the floor of the mouth. Cancer that occurs on the inside of the mouth is called oral cancer or oral cavity cancer.

There are several types of mouth cancers that are grouped into categories called head and neck cancers. Mouth cancer occurs when cells in one's lip or mouth develop changes (mutations) in their DNA thereby allowing cancerous cells to grow and divide and healthy cells to die. This results in the accumulation of mouth cancer cells that form a tumor.

It is not quite clear as to what causes these mutations that lead to mouth cancer.

The symptoms associated with mouth cancer include:

• Loose teeth

• Thickening or lump of the skin or lining of the mouth

• A sore that does not heal

• A reddish or white patch on the inside of one's mouth

• Sore throat

• Tongue pain

• Jaw stiffness and pain

• Speech changes such as slurring or lack of clarity

• Difficulty in chewing and swallowing that is often painful

• A feeling that something is caught in one's throat

• Weakly fitting dentures

A person may be at a higher risk of developing mouth cancer if he or she:

• Uses tobacco in any form

• Is a heavy alcohol consumer 

• Exposes one's lips to excessive sunlight

• Is exposed to the sexually transmitted Human Papilloma virus (HPV)

• Maintains poor oral hygiene or follows a poor diet

• Has a family history of cancer

If you have persistent symptoms that are mentioned above which last for more than two weeks, see your doctor for a proper evaluation!