Oral Cancer Warning Signs You Need To Know


Approximately 56,000 North Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer annually, with almost 11,000 people likely to die from it. The best preventive measure is to have it diagnosed in its early stages, and to then pursue immediate treatment.

Oral cancer is an umbrella term for cancers of the soft tissues of tonsils, lips, cheek, tissues of the tongue, soft palate, and salivary glands.

What are the common oral cancer symptoms to be aware of?

  • Bumps or lumps in the mouth
  • White or red patches in the mouth
  • Numbness or bleeding in the mouth or neck
  • Mouth sores that linger for more than two weeks
  • Pain while swallowing, chewing, or moving the jaw
  • Pain in the ear
  • A cough that persists
  • Breathing problems
  • Changes in your voice (it will often sound more hoarse)
  • An unexpected change in the way your teeth fit together.

As with all health concerns, changes that occur in your mouth should be assessed immediately. Wondering if a symptom you’re experiencing should be examined? Call us today and we’ll schedule an oral screening right away.

Oral Cancer Causes

There are many risk factors that boost your chances of developing oral cancer. Here’s a shortlist:

  1. An immune system that’s weak. People who have compromised immune systems have been known to have an increased risk for oral cancer, especially following an organ transplant or if an autoimmune disease is at play.
  2. Use of tobacco. Any way you use it, this ingredient boosts your chances of developing oral cancer by six times.
  3. Your diet. Nutritional intake that doesn’t include copious amounts of fruits, veggies, and grains will increase your oral cancer risk. Do your best to eat as many of these foods as possible, and make a point of including foods rich in antioxidants, beta carotene, zinc, folate and micronutrients like vitamins C and E, as well.
  4. Alcohol consumption. Because alcohol contains chemicals that penetrate your mouth, throat, and esophagus cells, regular exposure increases your oral cancer risk. If you drink and smoke at the same time, the risk increases even more.r

  5. Exposure to the sun. The more time you spend in the sun, the greater your risk of developing lip cancer. When you do anticipate a high UV sun exposure, use sun screen, wear a hat that shades your face, and apply (often) a lip balm with SPF.

Oral Cancer Statistics

  • Men experience it twice as much as women
  • Among men, it’s the 8th most common cancer diagnosed
  • 62 is the average diagnosis age
  • The five-year rate of survival rate is approximately 65%
  • With early diagnosis, five-year survival rate is 84%
  • If the cancer has matastasized, the survival rate is 39%.

At Terminal Park Dental Clinic, assessing your oral health while performing cancer checks is an integral part of our care. Call us at (778) 744-4247 to schedule an appointment today!


Call Us About Oral Cancer Screening Today

  • Have any abnormalities in your lips, gums, tongue, and upper throat assessed
  • Ensure that potential issues are caught in their early stages
  • Minimize your risk of developing advanced oral cancer
  • Learn the factors that contribute to oral cancer
  • Increase your survival rate with early detection.


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