Oral Cancer – 10 Signs To Look For

oral cancer dentist screening guide

The American Cancer Society predicts that nearly 40,000 people in the United States will develop oral cancer this year, and about 7,500 will die from the disease.

To protect yourself and your family, it’s important to know the symptoms of oral cancer so you can start treatment as soon as possible. We asked Centennial Colorado dentist, Dr. Daniel Butterman to outline possible signs we should be aware of. 

 Here’s what to look for along with ways your dentist may help. 

  1. Know where to look. Oral cancer can develop on the lips, cheeks, tongue, floor of the mouth, sinuses, throat and the hard and soft palate.


  1. Patches in your mouth. If you develop velvety white, red or speckled patches in your mouth, it may be a sign something is wrong.


  1. Swelling/thickenings in the mouth. Many oral cancer patients experience lumps or bumps or eroded areas on the gums, lips or other parts of their mouth.


  1. Bleeding. If your mouth is bleeding and you have no idea why, it could be a sign of oral cancer.


  1. Numbness. When people develop oral cancer, it’s not uncommon for them to deal with unexplained numbness in their face, mouth or neck. It’s also possible to have a complete loss of feeling or pain in these areas.


  1. Sores. Mouth sores are fairly common and usually aren’t cause for concern, but they could indicated something is wrong if they don’t go away after two weeks. These sores tend to bleed easily and can show up in your mouth, on your face or on your neck.


  1. An odd feeling in the back of your throat. If your throat is sore or you feel like something is caught there, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Hoarseness, living with a sore throat that just won’t go away and a change in your voice are also common oral cancer symptoms.


  1. Difficulty completing normal functions. People with oral cancer often have difficulty doing tasks they didn’t have to think twice about before, such as speaking, chewing, swallowing or moving their jaw or tongue.


  1. Changes in your mouth. If you’ve noticed a change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together, it might be because something is wrong.


  1. Changes in other areas of your body. While most of the signs to look for happen in or near your mouth, there are other areas that might be affected. Ear pain and sudden, significant weight loss are also oral cancer symptoms.


If you notice any of these symptoms, see your dentist right away. He’ll conduct an oral cancer screening and will look for any tissue changes or lumps in your head, face, neck and oral cavity. He’ll also look for sores or discolored tissue in your mouth. If something looks off, your dentist will likely perform an oral brush biopsy, or recommend a scalpel biopsy.

The earlier you’re diagnosed with oral cancer, the better your prognosis will be. Visit your dentist regularly for routine screenings, and if you notice anything suspicious in between visits, call your dentist for an appointment right away.

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Top Self Improvement Tips

Joy and development usually come from the inside. Even with the help of the best psychotherapists in the world, unless one decides to be happy, it would be almost impossible to notice any change in them. That is why self-improvement is highly encouraged. Here are top self-improvement tips to help you out.

Effective Self Improvement Tips

• It is now or never

The act of postponing a particular action is called procrastination. In your lifetime, you should always try your best to complete your tasks, regardless of how challenging or complex they might seem. In most cases, some projects are a matter of when, and not if. For instance, if you were to clean your house in the morning, but you ignore and go swimming, the house will still be dirty when you get back. This will force you to clean the house, rather than take a rest. Always finish your tasks as soon as you can. Also, this means that you should get off your comfort zone.

• Have fun

Even though it is advised to complete your tasks rather than postpone them, it is also good to take a break. You could go out with friends to watch a movie, go hiking, ride a bike outside, or do any fun-filled activity. This isn’t about evading your job, but just taking a break to refresh your mind.

• Face your challenges/fears

This implies that you should always face your fears because you can always do it. One common Bible verse says that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Paul was confident when he was encouraging the Philippians in his letter. It is all about ignoring the fear of people’s ideas or thoughts. Too many people are afraid of what others will say or think when they try something, and possibly fail. You should live a fearless life to be extra confident and bring down all the walls of fear that surround you.

• Worry about the situation at hand

A lot of people end up leading a stressful life because they worry too much about the future. Another verse in the Bible quotes that you should not worry about tomorrow and that every day has its own troubles. This is in Matthew 6:34, and it is simply talking about being concerned with the situations at hand first. It is better to tackle one issue, and wait for the next possible one, rather than worry about everything and not solve any.

• Utilize self-development sources every day

You could also take about an hour every day to listen, read or watch inspiring information. If you are watching a self-inspiring lecture or a preaching, it will help to build and develop your inner man. You will be extra confident since you feed your mind with inspiring information.

• Open your hand to someone

Being generous also helps to build your inner man. The more you give out to people, the more it comes back to you. It is not all about giving out money or food alone, rather, you should also give your advice and smile to people. The main point here is to be helpful to other people. When you are helpful to people, they will come to your help when you are in need.

As you attempt to improve your life, you should always keep in mind that quitting is an enemy to your progress. Always be determined to face your challenges and have a happy mood, even when you fail in them.