Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School



Symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • a mouth sore that doesn't heal

  • an area in your mouth that becomes discolored and stays that way

  • a lump or thickening in your cheek that doesn't go away

  • a sore throat that doesn't go away

  • voice changes

  • trouble chewing or swallowing

  • trouble moving your jaw or tongue

  • loose teeth

  • numbness in your tongue or another part of your mouth

  • pain around your teeth or in your jaw

  • pain or irritation in the mouth that doesn't go away

  • unexplained weight loss

  • swelling in your jaw

  • a lump or mass in your neck

  • the constant feeling that something is caught in your throat

Most often these symptoms are caused by other, less serious medical problems. But if any symptoms last for two weeks or longer, see your doctor.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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