Oral cancer is not uncommon, with about 53,000 Americans being diagnosed with it every year. Like most forms of cancer, the condition has no cure. However, with early detection, there are high chances it will respond effectively to treatment. Dr. Eliaz Kaufman of East Village Dental Center can help you identify the early symptoms of cancer through an oral biopsy. Additionally, Dr. Kaufman can help you understand the early signs and help you look out for them. Look at the following helpful tips to help you catch oral cancer early enough.
Regularly Examine Your Mouth
While some cancers have identifiable signs in their early stages, others do not cause any symptoms until they are advanced. However, it is critical to examine your mouth often to spot any abnormal signs carefully. You should report anything out of the ordinary to your doctor, who will help you understand it. Because oral cancers can virtually develop anywhere in your mouth, it is essential to thoroughly look everywhere in your mouth in a mirror to spot the changes. Additionally, it would be better to brush and floss your teeth, rinse with some warm salty water, and wait for a little while to examine your mouth.
Check for Minor White Sores
Small white sores or lesions are some of the common early signs of oral cancer. They are commonly referred to as leukoplakia by doctors and can form anywhere in your mouth. Although they are commonly mistaken for bacterial infection or are misdiagnosed as small ulcers caused by minor trauma or abrasions, they are very different. The ulcers are painful and go away with good hygiene, but the leukoplakia is less painful unless in an advanced stage and does not go away; instead, they become more prominent.
Observed Sores and Patches
Red sores, commonly known as erythroplakia by doctors, have a high potential to become cancerous compared to leukoplakia but are less common. Unlike canker sores that are initially red but turn white over time, the tiny red sores or patches stay red and hang around for a while. Also, the erythroplakia are always inside the mouth, unlike other lesions that can also occur on the outer lips. So, if you notice any red sore or lesion that remains red and does not go away after about two weeks, reach out to your doctor for expert evaluation.
Feel Rough Spots and Lumps
Development of rough patches and growths or lumps are potential signs of oral cancer since the cancer is generally an uncontrolled division of cells. You can use your tongue to feel around your mouth and report to your doctor any unusual bumps, lumps, or rough spots. Note that the lumps and rough spots may not be painful and can be easily mistaken for other complications such as gingivitis. But your doctor will carry out a thorough examination to be precise about your symptoms.
Pay Attention to any Soreness or Pain.
Pain and soreness in the mouth is common as can be caused by a wide variety of complications making it difficult to distinguish when it is caused by potential cancer. That is why it is critical to maintain regular checkups and oral exams, as they can help you be suspicious when your dental work is up-to-date. Generally, it is critical to visit your doctor anytime you experience pain or soreness in your mouth for evaluation. Your provider will clear other complications or clear cancer.
Contact Dr. Kaufman today at East Village Dental Center to learn how you can distinguish early signs of oral cancer from other symptoms related to other oral complications. Remember that the earlier you catch cancer, the better.