Floor of mouth is cancer that starts in the tissue lining of the area below the mouth which is made up of squamous cells (thin and flat cells). This cancer begins either as a sore sensation that does not heal or a lump. The most common treatments for this type of cancer are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Floor of the mouth cancer has the following signs and symptoms:
- Non-healing sore in the mouth
- Constant white mouth patches
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
- Chewing, swallowing, or speaking difficulty
- Tongue or jaw movement difficulty
- Long term bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Ear pain
- Neck pain and swelling
- Unexplained weight loss
If these symptoms persist and it worries you, consult your doctor.
Floor of the mouth cancer starts when the healthy cells undergo genetic mutations. This mutation instructs the cells to grow and divide rapidly and uncontrollably. Over time the cancer cells may spread to nearby tissues and to other parts of the body (metastasize).
The following are the risk factors that may develop floor of the mouth cancer:
- Tobacco smoking (poses higher risk)
- Alcohol consumption (poses higher risk)
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection
- Taking immune system suppressant medications.
- Sun exposure of the lips without a sunblock
- Family history of oral cancer