How to Check for Mouth Cancer Symptoms. As a cancer that affects the tissue of the mouth, including the cheeks, lips, gums and tongue, it is relatively easy to check for symptoms of oral cancer. Although you should always see a health professional such as a dentist or doctor, people at risk should be aware of the symptoms and early warning signs of mouth cancer and check for mouth cancer symptoms themselves.
Change Behaviors Associated With Mouth Cancer Risk Factors
Know the risk factors associated with mouth cancer. Men over the age of 45, tobacco users, people who consume excessive amounts of alcohol and people with prolonged exposure to the sun are all at risk to develop oral cancer.
Change behavior, such as using tobacco and alcohol that can be risk factors that contribute to the chance of getting oral cancer. Quitting smoking or any use of tobacco as soon as possible is an easy way to reduce your risk of getting oral cancer. In addition, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables has been linked to reducing the risk of mouth cancer.
Check for Visual Symptoms of Mouth Cancer
Look for red, white or red and white patches of skin or lumps in your mouth or a lump on the neck.
Notice if you have any sores in your mouth that do not heal or change in size or appearance.
Check for any unexplained bleeding in your mouth.
Detect Symptoms of Oral Cancer You Can Feel
Feel for loose or painful teeth. This also applies to dentures that may not fit well or are loose.
Be aware of pain swallowing, or of any other constant numbness or pain in your mouth.
Know that pain or difficulty moving your tongue or jaw can also be potential symptoms of mouth cancer.
Observe any changes in your voice or cases of bad breath that could be symptoms of oral cancer.
Realize that all of these symptoms could also be signs of a mouth infection. If you experience any of the symptoms of mouth cancer, such as red patches in your mouth, for more than 3 weeks, ask your doctor if you need to be concerned. Know your right to privacy when discussing your medical conditions and the release of your medical records.
Noticing symptoms or believing you might be at risk for cancer can be stressful and worrisome. Consider seeing a therapist or counselor as part of the treatment process as you determine the outcome.