Oral Cancer Screenings

There is no standard or routine screening test for oral cancer. Screening for oral cancer may be done during a routine check-up by a dentist or medical doctor. The exam will include looking for lesions, including areas of leukoplakia (an abnormal white patch of cells) and erythroplakia (an abnormal red patch of cells).

What Can Cause Mouth Cancer?

Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer, is where a tumor develops on the surface of the tongue, mouth, lips, or gums. Tumors can also occur in the salivary glands, tonsils, and pharynx (the part of the throat from your mouth to your windpipe), but these are less common.


What You Can Do:

You can do a couple of things to find early signs of mouth cancer.

  • Have regular dental checkups, at least yearly – even if you have false teeth.
  • Check inside your mouth with a small mirror for any changes that could be due to mouth cancer.


Many dentists routinely check for mouth or oropharyngeal cancer. So they are often the first to spot these cancers in their patients. If the dentist suspects cancer, they can refer you to the hospital to see a specialist.