Mouth and Throat Cancer Self Exam

Why Self-Exam? 

Early detection can save your life. Lack of awareness and education often causes people to ignore signs and symptoms of mouth and throat cancer and as a result, present to their doctor with more advanced disease.

Self-Examination Steps

Perform a self-exam for oral cancer in front of your mirror once a month. Remove any dentures or appliances before beginning exam. 
1. Neck
  • Feel both sides of your neck and under your jaw for areas of tenderness or lumps.
  • Both sides should look the same.
  • Look for bumps or swelling that change symmetry.
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2. Lips

  • With your fingers, pull out each lip and look for sores or color changes inside of your lips or on your gums.
  • Feel for lumps within your lips and tissue around your lip.
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3. Cheeks

  • Use your index finger to pull your cheek out.
  • Look inside your cheek for sores or color changes in tissue.
  • Use your thumb and index finger to feel for lumps anywhere in the cheek or in surrounding tissue.
  • Repeat on the other side.
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4. Gums

  • Use your thumb and finger to pull back your upper lip and examine your gum line.
  • Look for any discoloration or sores on the gums.
  • Be sure to look at the gums in front of behind the teeth.
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5. Tongue

  • Use your thumb and index finger to hold the end of your tongue.

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  • Stick out your tongue as far as you can.
  • Use your finger and thumb to pull your tongue from side to side.
  • Look at the surface for color changes, sores or bumps.

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  • Elevate your tongue.
  • Look for changes in the tissue (color changes, sores, bumps) under your tongue

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6. Palate

  • Tilt your head back and look at the roof of your mouth/palate.
  • Look for sores, bumps, or color changes in the tissue.
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Concerning Signs or Symptoms of Mouth and Throat Cancer:

  • Mouth sores or ulcerations that do not heal in 2-3 weeks
  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Soreness or swelling in the neck or under the chin
  • A change in voice such as hoarseness
  • Pain during swallowing or difficulty swallowing and/or chewing
  • Ongoing earache

Concerning Lesions

If you have lesions similar to those shown below see your physician IMMEDIATELY!

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For More information:

The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery 

American Cancer Society

Download your own copy of this mouth and throat wellness exam here:

Mouth and Throat Wellness Self 

To purchase your own mouth and throat cancer screening device, please contact:

Throat Scope