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Mouth Cancer Symptoms

Cancer doctor shaking hands with a senior patientMouth cancer symptoms vary widely depending on the type and location of the cancer, as well as the degree to which it has spread. Many forms of mouth cancer can go completely undetected in their earliest stages because they don’t present obvious symptoms until they have grown into nearby structures. Sometimes, a physician or dentist can notice signs that their patients may miss – which is just another reason that it’s important to receive regular physical and dental checkups.

Some of the most noticeable mouth cancer symptoms include:

  • A lump on the gums or elsewhere in the mouth
  • Red or white patches in the throat or mouth
  • Ulcers, bleeding, or numbness in the mouth
  • Teeth that come loose without an obvious cause
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Unintended weight loss (potentially as result of the aforementioned symptoms)
  • Speech problems or changes to the voice

Even if one or more of these symptoms are present, that alone doesn’t indicate cancer. In fact, there are many other potential causes for all of these symptoms, and a physician will need to determine the root of the symptoms. Often, reaching a diagnosis will require x-rays, a biopsy, or one or more other tests to tell if the issue is mouth cancer, as well as how far it may have spread.

People who have mouth cancer can find a comprehensive array of medical resources available at Tampa General Hospital. With oncologists who specialize in treating cancers of the neck and head, including a team of medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons and many others, we develop individual treatment plans that are tailored to meet the needs of each patient.

To be connected with a Tampa General Hospital oncologist, use our PhysicianFinder tool or call (813) 844-2200.