Oral cancer screening – some of the symptoms
- Sore gums
- Sore spots around the inside of the mouth
- Loose teeth
- Changes in speech/difficulties speaking
- Difficulties swallowing and chewing food
An ulcer or sore inside the mouth should heal within two weeks. If it doesn’t, it’s best to have a dentist take a look.
If left untreated, it can become a health concern.
We complete an oral cancer check as part of your general check-up.
Oral cancer is cancer of the mouth, which most commonly involves the lips or the tongue. It may also occur on the:
- Cheek lining
- Floor of the mouth
- Gums (gingiva)
- Roof of the mouth (palate)
Sore, lump, or ulcer in the mouth:
- May be a deep, hard-edged crack in the tissue
- Most often pale-coloured, but may be dark or discoloured
- On the tongue, lip, or other area of the mouth
- Usually painless at first (may develop a burning sensation or pain when the tumour is advanced)
Other symptoms that may occur with oral cancer include:
- Chewing problems
- Mouth sores
- Pain with swallowing
- Speech difficulties
- Swallowing difficulty
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
- Tongue problems
- Weight loss
SIGNS AND TESTS
Your doctor and/or dentist will examine your mouth area.
The examination may show:
- A sore on the lip, tongue, or other area of the mouth
- An ulcer or bleeding
Tests used to confirm oral cancer include:
- Gum biopsy
- Tongue biopsy
X-rays and CT scans may be performed to determine if the cancer has spread.