5 warning signs of oral cancer

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Oral cancer, also known as mouth cancer, occurs inside the mouth and is one of the several types of cancers grouped under the head and neck cancer category.

A painful or bleeding lip or mouth sore that doesn’t heal is one of the most common symptoms of oral cancer. However, oral cancer can sometimes manifest with other uncommon symptoms such as:

  • Swelling of the jaw or neck
  • White or reddish patch inside the mouth
  • Unexplained numbness in the lips or tongue
  • Persistent feeling of a lump or thickening on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or changes in the voice such as a lisp

If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms, visit a doctor for a professional examination.

While oral cancer can affect anyone, here are a few ways to reduce your risk:

  • Quit or avoid tobacco use as it is one of the main causes of oral cancer.
  • Maintain oral hygiene and visit your dentist regularly for routine dental exams.
  • Limit sun exposure, particularly on your lips, and use a lip product with a sun protection factor (SPF).
  • Consume a healthy diet consisting of plenty of fluids and reduce the intake of sugary and processed foods.

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