If you have a sore in your mouth that does not go away in 3 weeks, or a red/white patch, or a lump you should get it checked. There are risk factors for oral cancer. Tobacco, alcohol, tobacco and alcohol in combination, and human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV is sexually transmitted and it is recommended that girls and boys between the ages of 11 and 12 get the vaccine, regardless of whether or not they are sexually active. Although oral cancer is not common, picking up on something unusual in your mouth and having a biopsy, if necessary, are important ways you can catch cancer early, which can double the 5-year survival rate. If you have any questions please call Dr. Nadine Hutchins 970-242-7373.