When it comes to cancer, symptoms that start as nothing more than a mild annoyance can quickly become life-threatening. What might seem like a tongue sore could actually be a more significant problem. Oral cavities account for about 180,000 cancer deaths annually. That’s why it’s essential to learn how to identify the early signs of this often-fatal disease.
Mouth sores are pretty common. They tend to be painful, and can make eating challenging. These cankers are typically not life-threatening, and only last a couple weeks. However, some of those affected by mouth sores aren’t so lucky. According to the American Cancer Society, about 54,000 of them actually have oral cancer. If you have a mouth sore that hasn’t healed after two weeks, it’s vital to have a doctor take a look at it.
Oral cancer makes up only 3% of all cancers, but it can be quite debilitating. Early diagnosis is crucial in combating this ailment, but unfortunately, it’s challenging to detect at this stage. That’s primarily because a cancer lesion doesn’t look much different from a sore. What sets them apart is the duration of the patchy spot. It could be something more significant if you’ve had it for more than two weeks.
There are other symptoms of oral cancer that can help with early diagnosis. They include difficulty swallowing, a lump, pain, or loose teeth. If your mouth sore is accompanied by these symptoms, it’s crucial to contact your physician as soon as possible. It might make all the difference if the sore turns out to be oral cancer.