First, what is oral cancer?
According to the American Dental Association, the term “oral cancer” encompasses throat, mouth, tongue and jaw cancer.PauseUnmute
These cancers commonly occur in the tongue, tonsils and oropharynx (the throat area behind the mouth), gums and other areas of the mouth.
Here, experts break down the symptoms of oral cancer you should be aware of, plus how to prevent oral cancer.
Common warning signs of oral cancer
1. A sore on your lips/mouth
Your healthcare provider should evaluate a sore or irritation that lasts longer than two weeks.
The Cleveland Clinic states that the sore may appear reddish on your lips. If you have darker skin, it may appear brown or gray. Inside your mouth, the sore may occur as a red or white sore that doesn’t heal.
2. Patches in your mouth/throat
The Cleveland Clinic says that patches inside your mouth you cannot scrape away can indicate precancerous conditions.
Leukoplakia is the word used to describe flat white or gray patches in your mouth or throat.
Erythroplakia describes a slightly raised or red flat patch. Erythroleukoplakia describes patches that are both red and white.