Signs And Symptoms Of Oral Cancer

The human papilloma virus (HPV) is a double-stranded deoxyribonucleic acid virus that infects the epithelial cells of skin and mucosa.

The moist epithelial surfaces (squamous cells) include all areas covered by skin and/or mucosa such as the mouth’s interior, throat, tongue, tonsils, vagina, cervix, vulva, penis (the urethra – the opening), and anus.

oral cancer
Photo Credit: Welleschik/Wikiepdia – Zungencarcinom.

Both oral cancers from HPV and those from tobacco and alcohol may be detected from the following:

  • An ulcer or sore that does not heal within two to three weeks;
  • A red, white, or black discoloration on the soft tissues in the mouth;
  • Difficult or painful swallowing. A sensation that things are sticking in the throat when swallowing;
  • A swollen but painless tonsil. When looking inside the mouth, tonsils on both sides should be symmetrical in size;
  • Pain when chewing;
  • A persistent sore throat or hoarse voice;
  • A swelling or lump in the mouth;
  • A painless lump felt on the outside of the neck, which has been there for at least two weeks;
  • A numb feeling in the mouth or lips;
  • Constant coughing;
  • An earache on one side (unilateral), which persists for more than a few days.

Yvad Billings, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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