About Oral Cancer

What is Oral Cancer

Oral cancer refers to cancer that develops in the mouth. It’s a very aggressive cancer and estimated to kill 10,000 Americans every year. Oral cancers are divided into two categories:

Oral Cancer:
Cancer of the oral cavity, which includes the lips, cheeks, teeth, gum, front of the tongue, and roof or floor of your mouth.

Oropharyngeal Cancer:
Cancer of the throat, which includes the tonsils, the base of the tongue, and the surrounding tissue.

HPV is also associated with throat cancers at the back of the mouth (which makes it difficult to detect), most notably with young women. The most common denominator in HPV transmission is oral sex, leading to an increase in oral cancer. That is why screening and early detection is the best plan for detection.

Oral Cancer Signs and Symptoms

There is a range of different symptoms that may indicate a person has oral cancer. If you’ve had any of these symptoms for more than two weeks, schedule an appointment with your dentist. The following are symptoms of oral cancer:

A sore or persistent irritation

Red or white patches inside your mouth

Pain or numbness in the lips

A lump or rough spot inside your mouth

Difficulty chewing or swallowing

Trouble moving your tongue or jaw

A sore throat or hoarseness

Oral Cancer Detection and prevention

The most important thing you can do to prevent oral cancer is to:

Refrain from smoking or chewing tobacco

Practice good oral hygiene

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all preteen boys and girls, ages 11 – 12, should be vaccinated for HPV

Avoid consuming excessive amounts of alcohol

Schedule & fulfill regular six-month exams

Request an oral cancer screening at each check-up

Vaccines are recommended for males and females ages 13 – 26

In between dental visits, do oral cancer self-exam

2 Minutes to Save a Life

Mouth Cancer Foundation Self Examination

Oral Cancer Causes and
Risk Factors

While men have in the past been twice as likely to develop oral cancer due to their higher use of tobacco and alcohol, women are rapidly outpacing men as HPV has caused a rapid rise in women diagnosed with oral cancer.

There is an alarming rise in young women aged 16 – 25, diagnosed with throat cancer as a result of the growing incidence of HPV. Younger men are also developing oral cancer due to HPV.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted disease that is related to the rise in throat cancers in non-smoking adults. It’s associated with about 9,000 cases every year.

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