Oral cancer appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that does not heal. Oral cancer, which includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the  mouth hard and soft palate, sinuses, and pharynx (throat), can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early. Oral or mouth cancer most commonly involves the tongue. It may also occur on thefloor of the mouth, cheek lining,  gingiva  (gums), lips, or palate (roof of the mouth.Oral cancer is particularly dangerous because in its early stages it may not be noticed by the patient. It can be painless with slight physical changes. But the precursor tissue changes, can be noticed by the doctors.

Early stage symptoms can include persistent red or white patches, a non-healing ulcer, progressive swelling or enlargement, unusual surface changes, sudden tooth mobility without apparent cause, unusual oral bleeding or epitaxis and prolonged hoarseness

Chewing betel,  paan  and Areca is known to be a strong risk factor for developing oral cancer. In India where such practices are common, Oral cancer often presents as a non-healing ulcer

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