Mouth cancer or oral cancer is one of the more common forms of cancer in the United States; with an estimated 53,000 diagnosed cases this year. About 1 in 75 men and 1 in 150 women will develop this type of cancer. The good news is that mouth cancer is cured in 80 to 90 percent of patients, as long as it is detected early. If the disease progresses, the survival rate falls to 40 percent.
Sores and ulcers are some of the most common signs of mouth cancer. They vary in size and usually appear on the tongue, inner cheeks, throat, and gums. Of course, mouth sores and ulcers can have other causes besides cancer. To determine whether a sore is potentially cancerous, keep track of how long it takes to heal. Sores that do not improve over a few days or weeks warrant medical inspection.
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