About Oral Cancer
When caught early, oral cancer has a high rate of recovery. Visit your dentist regularly and see an oral and maxillofacial surgeon if you have sores or lumps in your throat or mouth.
Oral cancer rates are higher among smokers, tobacco users, heavy alcohol users, and people with poorly fitting dentures, and highest among those who smoke and drink heavily. HPV infection of the mouth and throat, believed to be transmitted by sexual contact, also increases the risk of oral cancer. Men are more than twice as likely as women to be diagnosed with oral cancer.
Ask your dentist for a referral to an oral surgeon to talk about reducing your oral cancer risks.
Oral cancer warning signs include:
- White patches, or leukoplakia, in the mouth
- Red patches, or erythroplakia, in the mouth
- Red and white patches, or erythroleukoplakia, in the mouth
- A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
- An abnormal lump or thickening of the tissues of the mouth
- Chronic sore throat or hoarseness
- Difficulty in chewing or swallowing
- A mass or lump in the neck
See a doctor or dentist if any of these conditions last more than two weeks. Early assessment and diagnosis is the best way to ensure proper treatment.