What To Know About Precancerous Mouth Cancer?

Nov 25

What To Know About Precancerous Mouth Cancer?

If you are worried about having precancerous mouth cancer, know that this condition is not yet cancer. However, if not treated, there is a possibility that these unusual changes in the mouth might become oral cancer. Fortunately, regular dental consultations and examinations can help detect early indications of precancerous changes. Keep reading to learn more about the precancerous conditions of the mouth, including the different mouth cancer stages and some helpful tips to prevent oral cancer.

 

Squamous Cell Carcinoma Of The Mouth and Oropharynx

A squamous cell carcinoma means cancer. In fact, most oral and oropharyngeal cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. These are cancer that starts in the squamous cells. These cells are like the flat skin that covers the inside of the nose, mouth, larynx, and throat.

 

Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancer

Most oral cancers come from potentially malignant lesions in the tissue lining within the mouth or known as the oral mucosa. In fact, oral premalignant lesions can appear in any area of the oral cavity, such as:

  • LipsPrecancerous Mouth Cancer
  • Tongue
  • Gums
  • The inner layer of the cheeks
  • The upper area of the mouth
  • The floor of the mouth

Oral cavity cancer or simply oral cancer is in the category of head and neck cancer. Cancer in the mouth and other head and neck cancers are frequently treated correspondingly.

 

Precancerous Lesions In The Mouth and Oropharynx

Two distinct conditions can result in abnormal areas in the mouth or throat. In the early stage, they are harmless. However, without treatment, these abnormal changes can undergo malignant transformation. These oral precancer conditions are:

Leukoplakia: This is usually a white spot in the mouth

Erythroplakia: This is a red patch in the mouth that bleeds easily.

Both of these patches might be harmless. Yet, they can likewise be premalignant oral lesions and contain abnormal cells called oral epithelial dysplasia. If left untreated, these may become cancer.

Suppose you have lesions or sores in the mouth and are worried that they might develop into cancer. Then, in that case, visit a trusted dental provider like Radiant Smiles located in Bundoora. A reliable dental professional can help determine if you have a precancerous lesion. They will do a biopsy to find out what the patches are.

 

Mouth Cancer Stages

There are different stages of mouth cancer. Every stage describes how advanced the cancer is. In fact, knowing the stage helps doctors clarify the degree of the condition to you. It additionally helps them identify the treatment you need, such as surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.

The primary stages of mouth cancer include:

 

Stage 0

This stage is also known as carcinoma in situ, the earliest reference point of the scale. Stage 0 defines abnormal cells in the lining of the lips or mouth, which can possibly become cancer.

 

Stage I

The stage I tumor is not greater than 2 centimeters and does not yet spread to the lymph nodes.

 

Stage II

This abnormal growth is more than 2 centimeters but not larger than 4 centimeters. Like stage I, stage II cancer does not yet advance to the lymph nodes.

 

Stage III

It describes a tumor that either is more than 4 centimeters or has reached a lymph node in the neck.

 

Stage IV

This is the last and the most advanced form of mouth cancer. It could be in any size, but it has spread to:

  • the other areas of the oral cavity, such as the jaw
  • other parts of the body beyond the mouth, like the lungs
  • and has one significant lymph node bigger than 3 centimeters in size or multiple lymph nodes of any size on the same side of the neck as the tumor

 

Furthermore, it is possible that when the doctors diagnose mouth cancer, it is in stage IV already. You can learn more by going to this site and finding out the condition of your mouth. In any case, stage III and stage IV cancers are bound to recur than earlier-stage tumors.

 

Oral Cancer Prevention

The most ideal method to protect yourself from oral cancer is knowing what makes you bound to get it. These are known as risk factors. In fact, you cannot change some aspects, but in others, you can.

The leading danger factors for oral cancer are:

  • Using any tobacco producesOral cancer prevention
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Too much sun exposure
  • have a weakened immune system or HPV infection

To help prevent oral cancer:

  • Stop using any tobacco products
  • Avoid secondhand smoke
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Use sunscreen or lip balm with an SPF of 30 to protect yourself from UV light exposure
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet
  • Visit your dentist regularly
  • Have your dentures correctly fitted

Dentures or any dental appliance that rubs the tongue or inside the cheeks can cause disturbances that change the mouth’s cells. This might prompt an expanded danger for oral cancer over time. That is why all denture patients should take off and clean their dentures every night and make sure to have regular dental appointments.

 

Talk With Your Healthcare Provider

Suppose you are at risk for oral and oropharyngeal cancer. In that case, your medical or dental provider can recommend treatment to help you. Creating changes may not be easy, yet you do not need to do them alone. Doctors or dental professionals can help you find the best solution to address your health conditions. They can also check your mouth for oral cancer, which is an incredible way to find oral cancer in its early stages when it is small and easiest to treat.

 

References:

Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/squamous-cell-carcinoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20352480

Epithelial Dysplasia.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/epithelial-dysplasia

Why a Regular Dental Check Up is Important.

https://www.dentalcare.com/en-us/patient-education/patient-materials/why-are-regular-dental-visits-important

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