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What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

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Quick Answer

Symptoms of oral cancer may include bleeding; white or red patches in the mouth; swelling; chronic throat soreness; and lumps or crust on the lips and mouth, notes WebMD. People with the condition may also have trouble moving their mouths when speaking and eating. The throat may feel sore and obstructed, while sores often grow on the mouth, neck and facial skin and last two weeks or more.

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Full Answer

Oral cancer refers to a group of diseases that affect areas of the mouth, such as the lips, throat, tongue, floor of the mouth, sinuses and lining of the cheeks, states WebMD. A person developing oral cancer may notice persistent growths or sores that do not go away and are prone to bleeding. Dentists may also detect signs of irregular tissue, discoloration or lumps during a routine exam and screen the patient for cancer.

The most common forms of oral cancer are classified as squamous cell carcinomas because cell mutation takes place in the squamous cells lining the lips and the interior of the mouth, explains Mayo Clinic. Left untreated, tumorous growths can spread down the neck and to other organs. Men over 50 have the highest risk of developing oral cancer, and factors such as frequent sun exposure, smoking and high alcohol consumption can increase a person's susceptibility, according to WebMD.

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