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Oral cancer can occur in various parts of the mouth, such as the lips, gums, and tongue. When not diagnosed or treated early, oral cancer can be life-threatening.
Oral cancer signs and symptoms may include the following:
If you notice any of these signs and symptoms, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your doctor or dentist right away. This way, they can check for other possible causes or determine whether mouth cancer is the issue.
When you come in for an oral cancer screening, your dentist will look for any lumps in your mouth and surrounding areas, such as your neck and face. They will also check for any sore areas or discolored tissues in your mouth
Should your dentist find anything suspicious, they may perform further exams. One of which is called biopsy, a procedure used to diagnose oral cancer. During biopsies, lesions or cavities are examined closely. Tissue or cell samples are collected and inspected.
Treatment options may vary depending on the extent of the cancer or patient goals.
There are treatments that focus on treating cancer while others are used to contain cancer cells, provide comfort, or relieve symptoms. Oral cancers that have already progressed to Stages 3 and 4 may require more intensive treatments.
You and your doctor will be discussing which treatments to push through with.
While it is not clear what triggers cell mutations that cause mouth cancer, there are ways on how you can prevent them.
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