Decorative image

Getting diagnosed

Your GP will ask you about your symptoms including what they are, when you get them and whether anything you do makes them better or worse. They will also examine you.

Your doctor will then decide about whether to refer you to a specialist.

Seeing your GP

How to get the most out of your GP appointment.

Pictures of mouth cancer

Pictures of changes in the mouth that could be cancerous and would need urgent referral to a specialist.

Referral to a specialist

Find out when GPs refer people to see a mouth and oropharyngeal cancer specialist.


There is no screening programme for mouth and oropharyngeal cancer. Find out what you can do to check for changes.

Tests to diagnose

Find out more about diagnosing mouth and oropharyngeal cancer. Most people will have a biopsy.

Tests to stage

The stage of a cancer tells you how big it is and whether it has spread.

Last reviewed: 
23 Oct 2014

Information and help