7 Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is when cells in any part of the mouth become abnormal and begin to multiply at a quick and unstoppable rate. This can happen on the front or back of the tongue, inside or outside the lips, inside the cheeks, along the sinus cavities, at the back of the throat, on the hard palate, or on the soft palate. Any form of oral cancer can cause serious health problems because it blocks some of the body’s most important functions. The growth can inhibit breathing, swallowing, or the production of saliva that breaks down food so it can be properly digested.

Because this type of cancer occurs in several different types of tissue, treatments vary depending on what part of the mouth is cancerous. The causes of cancerous growths are also varied. Smoking cigars, cigarettes, or pipes can lead to cancer, as can chewing tobacco. Sometimes the cancer is linked to a genetic disposition toward cancerous growths, which cannot be predicted. The most common sign that cancer might be present is a sore or unusual growth that never goes away. If you notice a growth that continues to get bigger, or you experience sores that do not seem to heal, visit your doctor right away.

1. Ear Pain

Cancer in the sinus or nasal cavities can cause a growth that blocks the proper function of the ear, nose, and throat. An abnormal growth can create pressure in the sensitive passages between the ears and nose, which can cause a constant earache. Sometimes there is a ringing sound or a high-pitched whine that accompanies the pain. In some cases the pain is sharp, but usually it will be a dull throbbing pain that is consistent. Most earaches are due to congestion, an infection, or another typical irritation that has nothing to do with cancer.

These irritations should subside on their own after a day or two unless an infection is present. With an earache due to cancer, the pain does not or go away. In fact, it tends to intensify the longer the cancer is present. If your ear hurts for longer than a day you should visit your doctor to find out the cause. The cause could be as simple as a sinus infection or hay fever, which will be treated with antibiotics or a strong decongestant. If the pain persists after the initial treatment you should let your doctor know right away and ask to be screened for potential cancer.