“What does mouth cancer look like?” is one question which some people have in mind once they have heard of its existence. Yes, while majority of us are aware that this type of cancer exists, our knowledge when it comes to that is limited. However, the alarming fact that there are more than 20 people diagnosed with mouth cancer every 60 minutes and majority of the sufferers do not know they are suffering from mouth cancer until it’s too late makes us wonder. Are we familiar with the signs and symptoms of mouth cancer? Are we educated enough to the point we can keep ourselves away from the looming threat?
Which part of the mouth does the cancer affect?
Oropharyngeal cancer may affect all of the working parts of the sufferer’s oral cavity. Including the lips, teeth, tissue which lines the cheeks and lips, the front side of two-thirds of the sufferer’s tongue, gums, the floor of the mouth as well as the roof of the mouth.
How to determine signs of mouth cancer
Determining the early signs of mouth cancer can be easy if you know how it looks like. A good start is to check your squamous cells as that is where mouth cancer typically found. Squamous cells are the flat cells which cover the surface of our tongue, mouth, and lips. If you see a red or white patch on your gums, tongue, tonsils as wells as your mouth’s lining, you may have a sign of possible squamous cell carcinoma.
- A mixture of white and red patches in your mouth is referred to as erythroleukoplakia. If this cell growth abnormality lasts for more than 2 weeks, while it’s not painful, it may become cancerous if left untreated.
- A bright red patch which feels and seems velvety is referred to erythroplakia. In as much as 90% of cases, these patches are cancerous. Biopsy is advised.
- A white or gray-ish patch either on your lips or in your mouth is referred to as leukoplakia. These patches is a sign that you have an abnormal tissue growth which may be malignant over time.
Erythroplakia can be found anywhere in our mouth, however, they very commonly affect the floor of the mouth and the tongue. Checking our mouth for these patches regularly using our What does mouth cancer look like guides will not only help us put our mind to ease, but also help us notice abnormalities before it’s too late.