Today we will discuss something that grows in your mouth. It’s not teeth this time. But some more dangerous we call mouth cancer.
When we say cancer, a lot of people will think of skin cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer. But in fact, oral cancer is the 6th most common cancer in the entire world. People are more likely to die from oral cancer as compared to breast cancer or prostate cancer.
Oral cancer is an abnormal growth in your mouth that is usually found on your lips, tongue, inner cheek, the floor of the mouth, and more. But it doesn’t stop there. If you have any ulcers or mouth sores that don’t heal in three weeks, white, red, or mixed patches in your mouth, abnormal pain, or difficulty in swallowing, those might be signs and symptoms of mouth cancer.
Smokers are prone to mouth cancer due to nicotine and tobacco use. But even if you’re not a smoker, habits like drinking alcohol excessively or chewing betel liquid can still increase your risk of getting mouth cancer.
Although your mouth cancer rate increases after the age of 50, not all forms of diseases are linked to age. Genetics also plays a key role in mouth cancer. It’s good to be careful if any of your family members have a history of cancer.
Many people think “I do not have pain therefore I do not have any problem”. However, some cancer lesions do not cause any pain. In fact, certain malignant or dangerous forms of mouth cancer are painless in their early stages.
You are the best person to protect yourself from oral cancer. You just need to check for yourself.
- First, stand in front of a mirror and lift your lips. Check for any ulcers, swellings, or changes in color. Repeat for your lower lip.
- Second, pull your right cheek and slowly pinch to observe if that are any abnormalities or if anything feels weird. Repeat on your left cheek.
- Third, lift your head up and observe the roof of your mouth. Then put your chin down and turn up to observe if there are any changes on your floor of the mouth.
- Lastly, stick your tongue out and observe if there are any changes in the color or texture of your tongue. Pinch the left, right, and the tip of town to check for any swellings or abnormalities. Of course, avoiding smoking, and alcohol consumption and practicing a healthy lifestyle will also help lower your risk for oral cancer. You can also press along the neck area up to your lower jaw to check if there are any swellings or pain.