Ask a Specialist: Oral Cancer

Sigmund Freud, Sammy Davis, Jr, and Michael Douglas, what did these famous people have in common? They all had oral cancer. What causes oral cancer and what should you be looking out for? Find out with Dr. Christopher Klem, head and neck surgeon with the Queen’s Head and Neck Institute, in this segment of Ask a Specialist.


Oral cancer is cancer of the mouth, including:

  • Tongue
  • Lips
  • Palate
  • Tonsils


Dr. Klem says the causes of oral cancer include smoking and human papilloma virus (HPV); about half of the cases are not associated with either, though.


Signs of oral cancer include:

  • A sore in the mouth that doesn’t go away for two weeks
  • Persistent lump in the neck
  • Difficulty or pain with swallowing that lasts more than a few weeks


Screening is important and The Queen’s Medical Center will have a Head & Neck Cancer Screening on Friday, April 15th, from noon to 3 p.m. at The Queen’s Cancer Center. Dr. Klem, along with head and neck surgeon Dr. Daniel Alam, and dentists from the Queen’s Dental Clinic will be there to help detect the early signs and symptoms of oral, head, and neck cancer.


Ask questions and pick up some great information, too. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m.  For more information, call (808) 691-8984.

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