The best way to detect the symptoms and signs of oropharyngeal cancer is to perform self-exams frequently. If you notice any of these irregular symptoms, schedule an appointment at Florida Hospital for a screening.
- Mouth sore that doesn’t heal
- White or red patch on lining of the throat
- A lump in the throat
- Unusual bleeding, pain or numbness in the throat or mouth
- Jaw or neck swelling
- Inner ear pain
- A voice change
- Chronic sore throat
- A feeling that something is caught in your throat
- Difficulty or pain when swallowing or chewing
Some of these symptoms may mirror symptoms of another condition. It’s important to get a medical diagnosis as quickly as possible to get the treatment you need.
Doctors and dentists routinely check for signs of oropharyngeal cancer, but it’s important for high-risk patients to complete self-exams to find symptoms as early as possible. These are the steps to a self-exam for oral cancer:
- Remove dental appliances (dentures and retainers)
- Use a mirror and flashlight to look and touch the mouth, lips, gums and tongue for signs of cancer (above)
- Check the roof the mouth
- Check the inside of cheeks and both sides of the gums
- Check the top, sides and undersides of tongue and the floor of the mouth.
- Check for enlarged lymph nodes in the neck and under jaw