Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Signs and symptoms

What are the symptoms of oral cancer?

The following are the most common symptoms of oral cancer; however, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • A lip or mouth sore that does not heal.
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue or lining of mouth. 
  • A lump on the lip or in the mouth or throat. 
  • Unusual bleeding, pain or numbness in the mouth area. 
  • Swelling of the jaw. 
  • Pain in the ear. 
  • Change in voice. 
  • A chronic sore throat. 
  • Feeling as if something is caught in the throat. 
  • Pain or difficulty in swallowing or chewing.

The symptoms of oral cancer may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.