Early detection of mouth cancer and throat cancer can save your life.
Your dentist or hygienist will visually check your mouth for signs of oral cancer at your appointment.
The sooner it is spotted, the greater your chances are of successful treatment.
Who is most likely to be affected by mouth cancer?
Mouth cancer can affect anyone. Every year, approximately 43,000 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer.
Signs of Mouth Cancer and Throat Cancer
Check your mouth as thoroughly as possible when you brush your teeth. If you see anything odd or see changes in your mouth, call your dentist as soon as possible.
Signs of mouth cancer include:
- Sores or irritated areas that don’t heal
- Pale patches or red patches in your mouth
- Sensations of pain or numbness
- Lumps, areas that seem thicker, rougher or crusty-looking
- Problems with chewing, swallowing or movement
- Your bite appears to be changing
Signs of throat cancer include:
- Lumps or growths
- Continuous cough or sore throat
- Ear aches
- Difficulty swallowing
- Changes in your voice
Anyone can get mouth cancer or throat cancer, but certain lifestyle and health factors can increase your chances of developing these cancers:
- Any type of smoking increases the risk of cancer
- Drinking heavily increases your cancer risk
- Lip cancer is common in those who get a lot of sun exposure
- Human papilloma virus (HPV) can cause cancer
- Not eating enough fruit and vegetables increases cancer risk
Reduce Your Risks
- Check your mouth daily
- Quit smoking
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Feel your neck for lumps
- Ask your dentist for an oral cancer screening
Your Dentist Can Help
Your dentist will routinely check for any signs of unhealthy tissue that could point to cancer. Talk with your dentist about any changes in your mouth or neck that you have noticed.
The sooner you act on a seemingly minor symptom of cancer, the sooner it can be diagnosed and treated. It’s better to have a few ’false alarms’ than to overlook a symptom of mouth cancer or throat cancer until it becomes serious.