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Oral Cancer

Oropharyngeal cancers are those cancers confined to the base of the tongue, soft palate, tonsils, and back of the throat.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

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 cancer:

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










Dental Provider Education

The VAX 2 STOP CANCER program is offering a new, on-demand training program for general and pediatric dentists and hygienists. Participants will learn best practices for recommending the HPV vaccine, and will receive information and resources to pass along to hesitant parents. The training is free and includes 1 CE credit hour through the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama.

Visit VAX 2 STOP CANCER to learn more and sign up for the training.

Oral Cancer Awareness

The Mitchell Cancer Insitute in collaboration with the Oral Health Office would like to remind you to Watch Your Mouth! Take action to prevent oral cancer by performing your own 7-step self-exam in between dental visits. For more information on oral cancer screenings, visit the National Cancer Institute.

The American Cancer Society estimates that about 53,260 people will be diagnosed this year with oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers, including tonsil cancer. In the PSA below, Dr. David Bronner, CEO of the Retirement Systems of Alabama, encourages Alabamians to have regular health check-ups and screenings with dentists.

Watch it on YouTube. Watch the longer version where Dr. Bronner discusses his cancer diagnosis and experience.


What's better than a cure for cancer? Not needing one. The "#WatchYourMouth for Signs of Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer" campaign emphasizes the importance of performing oral cancer self-exams and getting the HPV vaccine. View the new "#WatchYourMouth" materials below:

Please email [email protected] or [email protected] for information on ordering these materials.

Page last updated: March 26, 2024