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Mouth cancer: Pain, 'fullness' or ringing in the ears could be signs you’re at risk

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Cancer is a condition that’s caused by body cells reproducing uncontrollably. You could be at risk of deadly mouth cancer if you experience any of these three symptoms found in the ears. Are you at risk?

It is not known what causes all mouth or oropharyngeal cancers, but there are some factors that can increase your risk of developing it.

Research suggests that more than 60 out of 100 (more than 60 percent) of mouth and oropharyngeal cancers in the UK are caused by smoking.

“There is some evidence that people exposed to second-hand smoke (passive smoking) at home or in the workplace may have a small increase in their risk of mouth and oropharyngeal cancer,” says Cancer Research UK.

Drinking alcohol increases your risk of mouth and oropharyngeal cancer.

Research shows around 30 out of 100 (30 percent) of mouth and oropharyngeal cancers are caused by drinking alcohol.

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Other symptoms of mouth cancer to look out for include:

Signs and symptoms of mouth cancer may include:

  • A lip or mouth sore that doesn’t heal
  • A white or reddish patch on the inside of your mouth
  • Loose teeth
  • A growth or lump inside your mouth
  • Mouth pain
  • Ear pain
  • Difficult or painful swallowing

Mouth cancers form when cells on the lips or in the mouth develop changes (mutations) in their DNA, said the Mayo Clinic.

The site added: “A cell’s DNA contains the instructions that tell a cell what to do.

“The mutations changes tell the cells to continue growing and dividing when healthy cells would die.

“The accumulating abnormal mouth cancer cells can form a tumour.

“Make an appointment with your doctor or dentist if you have any persistent signs and symptoms that bother you and last more than two weeks.

“Your doctor will likely investigate other more common causes for your signs and symptoms first, such as an infection.”



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