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The sensation in the mouth that could be an early sign of cancer

BioNTech's co-founders discuss their cancer vaccine

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One of those symptoms is a numb tongue says the NHS; an unexplained or persistent numbness in the tongue or lip could be a symptom of the condition.

Other symptoms include mouth ulcers that are painful and do not heal within a matter of weeks alongside unexplained and/or persistent lumps in the mouth or on the neck that don’t go away.

Furthermore, loose teeth or sockets that do not heal after extraction inexplicably are also warning sings of something wrong.

However, not all signs of mouth cancer are as gruesome as those described.

A change in speech can also be a symptom of the development of the condition.

While these occurrences may prove unnerving, their appearance does not necessarily mean you have mouth cancer. These maladies can be caused by other factors such as an infection.

Nevertheless, regardless of whether or not they are being caused by cancer, it is essential that you’re seen to if the symptoms arise.

Both a GP and dentist are qualified to check for symptoms of mouth cancer and a check can be requested during a regular dental check-up.

Meanwhile, a team from Boston University have posited the theory that blocking or deleting a protein could prevent common forms of oral cancer.

The most prevalent form of mouth cancer is oral squamous cell carcinoma; one of the deadliest forms of mouth cancer, around a third of patients don’t survive.

Publishing their research in the Molecular Cancer Research Journal, the team have found that genetically deleting a protein, known as LSD1, could reduce the cancer’s growth and limit its spread.

Should this be found to work with a wide range of patients, the treatment could act as a preventative way to reduce someone’s risk of or the severity of the cancer they experience.

Professor Manish Bais, lead author on the study, said: “These findings have significant implications for new and potentially more effective therapies for oral cancer patients.

“This study is an important step toward the development of novel groundbreaking therapies to treat oral cancer.”

Bais added: “Our findings provide a basis for future clinical studies based on the inhibition of LSD1, either as monotherapy or in combination with other agents to treat oral cancer in humans.

“Although our studies are preclinical, restricted to mice and some human tissue, we want to expand to look at human clinical trial samples.”

While the possibilities of this treatment are exciting, it is important to note it is in its early stages and we are unlikely to see it being used as a form of preventative treatment at the moment.

Meanwhile, people can still take action to reduce their risk of the condition.

The most effective action is to quit smoking and reduce their alcohol consumption, the two leading causes of mouth cancer.

Alongside tobacco, an unhealthy diet and the human papilloma virus (HPV) can also increase your risk of developing mouth cancer.

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