Approximately 75 percent of oral cavity cancers are attributed to the use of smoked and smokeless tobacco. Those who chew tobacco are at high risk for gum and cheek lesions that can lead to cancer. Alcohol consumption is another risk factor.
Signs and symptoms of oral cancer:
• A mouth sore that fails to heal or that bleeds easily
• A white or red patch in the mouth that will not go away
• A lump, thickening, or soreness in the mouth, throat or tongue
• Difficulty chewing or swallowing food
Regular dental checkups, which include an examination of the entire mouth, are essential to the early detection of cancerous and precancerous conditions.