Oral cancers, which include cancers of the lips, cheeks, tongue, hard and soft palates, sinuses and throat, or pharynx (also known as oropharyngeal cancer), often appear first as growths or sores in the mouth that do not go away. In addition to these lumps, bumps and sores of the mouth, potential symptoms include:
As with any cancer, early detection and treatment is paramount. Your dentist can conduct oral cancer screenings during your regular dental exam.
Though everyone should be examined for oral cancer, Nicholas Campbell, MD, Medical Oncology, shares some of the risk factors that can increase your chances of developing the disease: