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Catching a Killer:
What You Should Know About Oral Cancer

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space placeholder.Oral Cancer Videos.
space placeholder.Symptoms of Oral Cancer

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Oral cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer. Only about half of people diagnosed with oral cancer survive more than five years. That's because cancer in the neck and mouth spreads quickly. Often, it isn't found until it's very advanced.

Oral cancer includes cancer of the throat, lips, mouth, tongue, gums and salivary glands. Anyone can get oral cancer. Although smoking increases the risk, more than 25% of oral cancer cases occur in people who never smoked.

The best way to catch oral cancer early is to have regular exams by your dentist and to learn how to check yourself. Watch the videos to find out how a dentist checks for oral cancer and other problems, and how you can check yourself.


Clinical photographs courtesy of Eric T. Stoopler, D.M.D.

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Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Any unusual sore, spot, patch or lump that does not go away in two weeks should be checked by your dentist. Here are some symptoms of oral cancer:

· A lump or swelling in your neck or under your jaw

· Red or white patches or ulcers that do not heal in two weeks

· A lump or overgrowth of tissue anywhere in your mouth

· Pain when you chew

· Difficulty swallowing

· A hoarse voice or sore throat that doesn't go away

· Numbness in your face or tongue

· A change in the color or size of a mole or freckle on your face

· A change in the way your teeth fit together (your bite)

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