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Oral cancer occurs when cancer forms in or around your mouth (such as on your lips, tongue, gums, cheeks, and/or upper or lower jaw). It can cause speech problems if it changes the movements or size of any part of your mouth. You can also have problems chewing and swallowing.
Some signs of oral cancer may be
Risks of oral cancer include
Dentists and doctors are often the first to notice signs of oral cancer. The doctor may take a sample of the tissue in your mouth, called a biopsy. Your doctor tests the tissue to see if it is cancerous. Saliva testing is another way to check for oral cancer.
You may see an SLP before or after your cancer treatment. Before cancer treatment, the SLP can listen to how you talk. During or after your cancer treatment, the SLP will look at how you move your mouth, speak, eat, and drink.
There are different ways to treat oral cancer. You may have surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or a combination of these. Your doctor will talk about all options and how they will affect you.
An SLP can help you get used to the changes in your mouth after treatment. The SLP can help you learn how to make sounds more clearly.
Treatment for swallowing problems may include changing the types of food you eat. You also may learn new head positions or exercises to help you swallow more easily.
Sometimes after surgery, the SLP works with doctors or dentists to find different ways to rebuild parts of your mouth that were removed during surgery. This is another way to help you speak and swallow more easily.
This list does not include every website on this topic. ASHA does not endorse the information on these sites.
To find a speech-language pathologist near you, visit ProFind.