Self Exam

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A quick and easy way to help you help yourself.

Finding oral cancer early is important so that it can be treated promptly. Some forms of oral cancer can be seen during monthly self-examinations.  Warning signs of head and neck tumors include:

  • A sore, lump or thickening in the mouth
  • A white or red patch
  • A sore throat that does not heal
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Hoarseness that does not go away
  • A feeling that something is stuck in the throat
  • Difficulty moving the tongue or jaw
  • A lump in the neck
  • Numbness in the mouth, face or neck
  • Seat yourself in front of a well-lit mirror. Remove any partials, dentures, or dental retainers that may be in your mouth.
1. Check your neck for lumps or swellings. Check your neck for lumps or swellings
2.  Look at your lips. Pull your lower lip down, then lift your upper lip.  Look at your lips
3.  Pull back both cheeks and look inside. Pull back both cheeks and look inside
4.  Gently bite down and look at your gums. Note any swelling, growths, or areas of discoloration. Gently bite down and look at your gums
5.  Open your mouth widely and look at the back of your tongue and roof of your mouth. Look at the back of your tongue and roof of your mouth
6. Stick out your tongue and look at the top and sides. Move the tongue side to side. Touch your tongue on the roof of your mouth and look underneath your tongue. Stick out your tongue and look at the top and sides

If you have noted anything unusual during this exam, please contact your primary care physician, otolaryngologist, or other oral health specialist.

Head and Neck Rehabilitation | Milton J. Dance, Jr. Head and Neck Center at GBMC
6569 North Charles Street, PPW., Suite 401, Baltimore, MD 21204
443-849-2087 | Barbara Messing| Webmaster

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Greater Baltimore Medical Center | 6701 North Charles Street | Baltimore, MD 21204 | (443) 849-2000 | TTY (800) 735-2258
© 2014  GBMC. This website is for informational purposes only and not intended as medical advice or a substitute for a consultation with a professional healthcare provider.