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Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer Overview

What is Oral Cancer?

Approximately 42,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with this largely preventable type of cancer that affects the mouth and/or part of the throat. Most oral cancers are related to tobacco use, alcohol use, or both. You can help reduce your risk for oral cancer by avoiding all tobacco products and drinking alcohol only in moderation (National Cancer Institute).

Dentists Most Effective in Early Oral Cancer Detection (Video)


Early Detection

Because oral cancer can spread quickly, early detection is important. An oral cancer exam can identify early signs of this disease. The exam is quick and painless, and can be done during your regular dental check-up. Be sure to tell your dentist if you notice persistent changes in your mouth or throat, such as sores, swelling, or numbness, or if you have difficulty eating or swallowing.










NIDCR's "Oral Cancer: What African American Men Need to Know" campaign






Clinical Trials



Oral Cancer (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research)


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Last Reviewed: Jun 25, 2014