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Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer Causes

Oral cancers may originate in any of the tissues of the mouth, and may be of varied histologic types: teratoma, adenocarcinoma derived from a major or minor salivary gland, lymphoma from tonsillar or other lymphoid tissue, or melanoma from the pigment producing cells of the oral mucosa. Far and away the most common oral cancer is squamous cell carcinoma, originating in the tissues that line the mouth and lips.

Oral Cancer Definition

Oral cancer is any cancerous tissue growth located in the mouth. It could arise as a primary lesion originating in any of the oral tissues, by metastasis from a distant site of origin, or by extension from a neighboring anatomic structure, such as the nasal cavity or the maxillary sinus.

Oral Cancer Diagnosis

Most oral cancers look very similar under the microscope and are called squamous cell carcinoma. These are malignant and tend to spread quickly.

Oral Cancer Symptoms and Signs

Skin lesion, lump, or ulcer: On the tongue, lip, or other mouth area; Usually small; Most often pale colored, may be dark or discolored; Early sign may be a white patch (leukoplakia) or a red patch (erythroplakia) on the soft tissues of the mouth; Usually painless initially; May develop a burning sensation or pain when the tumor is advanced.

Oral Cancer Treatment

Surgical excision (removal) of the tumor is usually recommended if the tumor is small enough, and if surgery is likely to result in a functionally satisfactory result. Radiation therapy is usually used in conjunction with surgery, or as the definitive radical treatment, especially if the tumor is inoperable.

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