Symptoms of Oral Cancers

Last modified on July 31st, 2018

Symptoms of Oral Cancers

Oral cancers usually arise in patches of Erythroplakia (red), Leukoplakia (white), or Erytholeukoplakia (both red and white) in the mouth.


Leukoplakia is a white area or spot in the oral cavity. About 25% of leukoplakias are cancerous or precancerous.

Erythroplakia & Erytholeukoplakia

Erythroplakia is a red, raised area or spot that bleeds if scraped. About 70% of erythroplakias are cancerous or precancerous.

Erythroleukoplakia is a spot with both red and white areas.

Other symptoms

  • An ulcer or sore in the mouth or throat that doesn’t heal
  • Loose teeth
  • A lump or thickening in the neck, face, jaw, cheek, tongue or gums
  • Dentures that cause discomfort or do not fit well
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing or moving the tongue or jaw
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Unexplained weight loss