The cancer symptom you can taste – and 8 other signs you must not ignore | The Sun

CASES of mouth cancer are on the up in the UK, with rates of the illness having double in the last year, data shows.

Around 3,034 people lost their life to mouth cancer last year – a rise of 20 per cent in the last five years, data from the Oral Health Foundation shows.

Close to 9,000 cases were diagnosed last year, an increase of 34 per cent compared to ten years ago.

While one of the most common signs is an ulcer that's not healing, experts have warned that there could also be a symptom you can taste.

Medics at Cancer Research UK warned that people who develop mouth cancer often experience bleeding in the mouth.

So if you can taste blood and there are droplets in your mouth along with a numbness, it's advisable to see your GP.

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While this is one of the less common signs, the experts said there are eight others you need to know.

1. Ulcers

An ulcer on it's own isn't usually a problem and will go away within a few days.

But if it's not healing, then experts say this is a common sign of mouth cancer.

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2. Pain

"Pain, discomfort or swelling in your mouth that doesn't go away is the other most common symptom of mouth cancer," guidance states.

3. Red or white patches

Changes in your mouth could be a signal of mouth cancer, the experts said.

This includes red patches, known as erythroplakia, and white patches named leukoplakia.

These are not cancer, but if left untreated could lead to the illness, they explained.

Medics stated that such marks can also be down to thrush.

"The white patches usually rub off, leaving a sore red patch underneath. If you have anti fungal treatment, and the patches go away, they are not related to cancer," they added.

4. Issues swallowing

If you're having pain when eating, a burning sensation when chewing or issues swallowing, then these could be being caused by mouth cancer.

Other signs include feeling as though food is sticking in your throat.

5. Speech problems

Cancer in your mouth or throat can affect your voice, experts at the charity said.

"Your voice might sound different. It may be quieter, husky, or sound as if you have a cold all the time. Or you might slur some of your words, or have trouble with pronouncing some sounds," they said.

6. A lump in your neck

You could have a lump in your neck due to an enlarged lymph node, the experts said.

Swelling in one or more lymph nodes in the neck is a common sign of both mouth and oropharyngeal cancer, guidance states.

But if you have a hot, red, painful lump, then this isn't usually a sign of cancer and would indicate an infection.

7. Weight loss

Losing weight unintentionally is a common sign of all cancers.

Mouth and oropharyngeal cancer can make it painful to eat and difficult to swallow. This might cause weight loss, the experts said.

8. Bad breath

Many people suffer with bad breath from time to time and it's usually down to the food we have consumed.

But if you have cancer, bad breath might be worse or happen more often, experts warned.

Along with these symptoms, you might also experience a lump or thickening of your lip, a lump in your mouth or throat and loose teeth for no particular reason.

You may also have difficulty moving your jaw, a sore throat or a pain in your ear that doesn't go away in a few days.

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It's important that if you have any of these symptoms you speak to your GP.

In the event of an emergency, always call 999.

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