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Warning Signs of Oral Cancer

Perform a Self-Exam Monthly

Using a bright light and a mirror:

- remove any dentures

- look and feel inside the lips and the front

of gums

- tilt head back to inspect and feel the roof

of your mouth

- pull the cheek out to see its inside surface

as well as the back of the gums

- pull out your tongue and look at all of its


- feel for lumps or enlarged lymph nodes

(glands) in both sides of the neck including

under the lower jaw

Look for:

- white patches, called leukoplakia (figure a)

- red patches (erythroplakia)

- red and white patches (erythroleukoplakia

(figure b)

- sore(s) that fails to heal and bleeds easily

- abnormal lumps or thickening of the

tissues (figures c and d)

- chronic sore throat or hoarseness

- difficulty in chewing or swallowing

- a mass or lump in the neck (figure e)

See your oral and maxillofacial surgeon right away if you have any of these signs.

A Word About Oral Care

When it comes to your health, your mouth

is one of your body’s most important early

warning systems. Don’t ignore any suspicious

lumps or sores. If you discover something,

don’t panic. Make an appointment for a

prompt examination. Early treatment may

well be the key to complete recovery.


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