Yes. Any sore on the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, and tonsils lasting more than two weeks needs medical attention. This is also true for swollen glands.

Oral cancers are more than twice as common in men as in women. The American Cancer Society estimates that 51,000 people in the United States will get some type of oral cancer in 2018, and more than 10,000 will die as a result. The high death rate is because typically these cancers aren’t discovered in the early stages, when treatment is more effective.

Screening for oral cancer is recommended starting around age 18 or earlier if you use tobacco.  In addition to regular dental and medical visits, learn how to check your own mouth, throat, and neck monthly. April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and a perfect time to learn more about this.  Click here for more information about oral cancer.