Mouth cancer can develop in most parts of the mouth, including the lips, gums and occasionally the throat.
The most common symptoms of mouth cancer are:
Other symptoms may include:
Many of the symptoms listed above canbe caused by less serious conditions, such as minor infections.
However, it's strongly recommended that you visit your GP or dentist if any of the above symptoms have lasted longer than three weeks. It's particularly important to seek medical advice if you drink or smoke regularly.
Mouth cancer often doesn't cause any noticeable symptoms during its initial stages.
This is why it's important to have regular dental check-ups , particularly if you smoke, drinkheavily or chew betel , a type of nut commonly consumed in Asia. Your dentist may be able to detect mouth cancer during an examination.
You should have a dental check-up at least once a year. More frequent check-ups may be recommended if you have a history of tooth decay or gum disease .
Read about mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, including information about symptoms, types, causes, treatment, possible complications and reducing the risks.
Read about the symptoms of mouth cancer. Common symptoms are sore mouth ulcers that don't heal and unexplained, persistent lumps in the mouth or neck glands.
Read about the causes of mouth cancer. The two leading causes of mouth cancer in the UK are tobacco and alcohol.
Read about how mouth cancer is diagnosed. After a physical examination, you'll have a biopsy to remove a tissue sample for testing. You may also need further tests.
Find out how mouth cancer is treated. The type of cancer, its size and how far it's spread will be considered. Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are the three main treatments.
Read about the complications of mouth cancer and its treatment, which can include difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) and speech problems. These can have an emotional impact.
Read about the day-to-day practicalities of living with mouth cancer, including work and money matters, plus information for people caring for someone with the condition.