Oral Cancer FAQ

I’ve been a cigarette smoker for a number of years and am concerned about possibility of developing oral cancer. What are the signs and symptoms of oral cancer?

First, it’s important to note that more than 25 percent of all oral cancers occur in people who do not smoke and who only drink alcohol occasionally. To answer your question, the following are the common signs and symptoms of oral cancer:
 
  • Swellings/thickenings, lumps, bumps, rough spots/crusts/,or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within two weeks
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or changes in the voice
  • Ear pain
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together – a change in your “bite”
  • Dramatic weight loss.

If you notice any of these changes, contact Dr. Maedel, Dr. Bailey or Dr. Muzina immediately for a professional examination.