Oral Cancer

Oral cancer includes cancer of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of mouth, hard palate, gums and minor salivary glands. Oral cancer usually occurs in people over the age of 45 but can develop at any age.

The following are the most common symptoms of oral cancer:

  • A sore on the lip or in the mouth that does not heal
  • A lump on the lip or in the mouth
  • A lump in the neck
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue or lining of the mouth
  • Unusual bleeding, pain or numbness in the mouth
  • Oral pain that does not go away or a feeling that something is caught in the throat
  • Difficulty or pain with chewing or swallowing
  • Difficulty with jaw opening
  • Swelling of the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
  • Tooth loosening
  • Bad breath
  • Sensory loss of the face
Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.