Oral Cancer

Oropharyngeal cancers are those cancers confined to the base of the tongue, soft palate, tonsils and back of the throat. The American Cancer Society estimates that 51,540 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer this year and 10,030 people will die of these cancers.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. During this time, the Alabama Department of Public Health would like to remind everyone to #WATCHYOURMOUTH for signs of oral and oropharyngeal cancer.

The following actions are recommended for prevention and early detection:

  • Vaccinate yourself or your children against HPV.
  • Stop tobacco use and use alcohol in moderation.
  • Regularly check your mouth for unusual sores, swelling, and areas of red or white lesions.
  • Ask your dental provider to screen for oral cancers.

See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms of oral cancers:

  • Persistent hoarseness or sore throat
  • Earaches or enlarged lymph nodes of the neck
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unexplained weight loss

Page last updated: April 9, 2021