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Mouth cancer can appear on the lips or anywhere in the mouth, including the tissues inside the cheeks, the tongue, and the gums. It often causes changes in patches of skin, such as thick growths or sores that do not heal with time. Mouth cancer is a type of head and neck cancer, and it often comes under the category of oral and oropharyngeal cancer. Some s of precancerous conditions may be indicators to see a doctor. In many cases, a person may have no noticeable symptoms at first.
In this article, we discuss the appearance of mouth cancer, its symptoms, and how to differentiate it from other conditions. Oral cancer is cancer that starts in the mouth, or oral cavity, which includes the:. Cancer occurs when cancerous cells begin to reproduce and grow out of control. Cells virtually anywhere in the body may become cancerous, and the growth of cancerous cells may spread to other areas of the body.
According to the American Cancer Societyoral cancer occurs most often in the following sites:. Oral cancer may appear differently based on its stage, location in the mouth, and other factors. Oral cancer may present as:. In the earliest stages of oral cancer, many people experience no symptoms or mistake them for those of another condition. Regular checkups with the dentist may help identify any early warning s. Squamous cells are flat Looking for oral now that cover the surface of the mouth, tongue, and lips. Noticing a patch or thick tissue in these areas may be an early warning to see a doctor for a diagnosis.
As cancer develops and progresses, a person may notice symptoms such as :. Dysplasia is a term that refers to the abnormal development of cells in tissues or organs. In adults, an increase in abnormal cell growth may suggest precancer. Possible precancerous conditions for oral cancer may include :. Smoking and chewing tobacco are the most common causes of these conditions. Dysplasia will often go away if a person removes the causes, but there is not always a clear cause. Most cases of leukoplakia do not develop into cancer.
Erythroplakia and erythroleukoplakia are less common but usually more serious. Most of these lesions progress into cancer. There are several types of oral lesions that can be concerning but are not s of cancer. They are painful white lesions that occur in various areas inside the mouth. Canker sores typically heal naturally within 2 weeks, whereas cancerous lesions do not go away with time.
Working with a doctor may help a person identify Looking for oral now triggers of canker sores so that they can avoid them where possible. Oral lichen planus is chronic inflammation in the mucous membranes in the mouth. It causes white, lacy markings in the mouth, which are not similar to the patchy white marks of leukoplakia. There is still debate regarding the association between lichen planus and cancer. However, some research suggests that people with lichen planus may have an increased risk of developing cancer of the lip, tongue, oral cavity, esophagus, and larynx.
These noncancerous tumors and growths occur due to variations in different cells, and they have a variety of causes. While some may cause problemsthey are unlikely to be life threatening. Typically, treatment for these growths involves surgery to remove them. Anyone who is uncertain about their symptoms should see a doctor, if only to provide peace of mind. Doctors may perform a physical exam to check for noticeable features of cancer.
If necessary, they will order diagnostic tests. Anyone with concerning symptoms, such as trouble chewing, swallowing, or breathing, should see a doctor immediately. Although cancer is not the only cause of these symptoms, they are concerning s of an underlying issue. Additionally, anyone noticing patches of tissue or growths in the mouth that do not go away with time should see a doctor. Mouth cancer usually presents with distinctive symptoms and features, such as red or white patches in the mouth, changes in oral tissue, or difficulty chewing or swallowing. While these symptoms are not unique to oral cancer, if they are persistent and do not heal over time, they may indicate cancer.
If people notice these or other concerning symptoms, they should see a doctor. Early diagnosis provides a higher chance of successful treatment. Mouth, or oral, cancer, can appear in any part of the mouth. Smoking and tobacco use increase the risk. Find out more about how to spot mouth cancer…. Oral cancer can affect any part of the mouth, including the front of the tongue, the lips, the gums, or inside the cheeks.
Symptoms include ulcers…. The symptoms of tongue cancer include a painful tongue, redness, and sores or ulcers that will not heal. The exact cause is unknown, but risk factors…. Lip cancer is a type of head and neck cancer that often starts with a lump on the lip that does not heal. Common risk factors for lip cancer include…. Throat cancer can develop in any part of the throat. The outlook depends, to some extent, on where cancer starts. Effective treatment is possible in…. What to know about mouth cancer and what it looks like Medically reviewed by Yamini Ranchod, Ph.
Pictures Definition How it may appear Symptoms How to differentiate When to see a doctor Summary Mouth cancer can appear on the lips or anywhere in the mouth, including the tissues inside the cheeks, the tongue, and the gums.
Oral cancer definition. Different ways it may appear. How to differentiate from other conditions.
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