What To Know About Precancerous Mouth Cancer?

What To Know About Precancerous Mouth Cancer?

2021-11-05 0 By Karen Smith

Precancerous mouth cancer is a potentially malignant lesion in the tissue lining of the mouth. This lining is known as oral mucosa. Like Dental Excellence’s Woden-based clinic, a trusted dental provider can provide medical diagnosis and treatment to address oral cancers. In fact, a high success rate for the treatment is more possible if diagnosed and treated early. Luckily, regular dental visits can help detect early signs of cancer in the mouth. Keep reading to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment of mouth and oropharyngeal cancer.

 

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer, also called oral cavity cancer, can develop in any area of the mouth. In fact, cancer in the mouth can appear on the following:

  • Gums
  • Lips
  • Tongue
  • Under the tongue or floor of the mouth
  • The roof of the mouth
  • The inner lining of the cheeks

Mouth cancer is one of a few cancers grouped in a classification known as head and neck cancer. Usually, the treatment for oral cancer and other head and neck cancers are similar.

 

Symptoms of Oral Cavity Cancer

Early stages of mouth cancer usually include:

  • Loose teethprecancerous mouth cancer
  • A white or reddish patch on the inside of your mouth
  • Oral lesions or sores on the mouth or lips that does not heal
  • A growth or lump within your mouth
  • Mouth pain
  • Trouble or painful swallowing
  • Ear pain

Knowing the importance of taking care of your teeth and mouth can help prevent oral health problems such as this. In any case, if you have any symptoms that bother you and last more than two weeks, it would be best to make an appointment with your doctor or dentist. They will probably examine your symptoms and provide treatment if necessary.

 

Other Kinds of Mouth and Oropharyngeal Cancer

The following are some types of mouth and oropharyngeal cancer:

Salivary gland cancer: Usually, cancers that develop in minor salivary glands are benign.

Adenoid cystic tumor: This rare type of cancer can occur from glandular tissue in the mouth’s salivary glands.

Basal cell carcinoma: This often appears on the lips.

Lymphoma: Cancers that begin from cells in the lymphatic system.

Melanoma:  Melanomas of the head and neck can appear on the skin or within the nose or oral cavity.

Oral submucous fibrosis: This cancer cause inflammation and progressive fibrosis of the lamina propria and deeper connective tissues.

A trained dental provider can help identify oral health issues. You can click this link to visit their site and get treatment as soon as possible to prevent worsening the condition.

 

Precancerous Conditions Of The Mouth

Premalignant oral lesions are injuries or sores in the mouth that is likely to become cancer. Meaning these conditions are not yet cancer. However, if not treated right away, there is a possibility that these abnormal cells in the mouth may become oral cancer.

The most common oral premalignant lesions are:

 

Leukoplakia

These abnormal changes cause grey or white spot on the tongue, gums, inside of the cheek, or the floor of your mouth.

The appearance of leukoplakia does not really mean cancer. In fact, the danger of having oral cancer relies upon how different the abnormal cells are in size, shape, and appearance contrasted with typical mouth cells. This anomaly is called oral epithelial dysplasia. In any case, the doctor closely monitors individuals who have leukoplakia to look for indications of potentially malignant lesions.

 

Erythroplakia

Erythroplakia is an unusual red spot that occurs on the mucosal lining for no apparent reason. This precancerous condition does not also necessarily imply cancer. However, erythroplakia has a high risk of forming cancer. Around half of these precancerous lesions develop into squamous cell carcinoma.

 

Causes

Oral cancers develop when cells in the mouth change their DNA. The transformations instruct the cells to keep growing and separating when healthy cells die. In fact, the increasing abnormal mouth cancer cells can become a tumor. Over time, they may disseminate inside the mouth and on to other parts of the body.

In addition, most mouth cancers are squamous cell carcinomas. They usually start in the level, thin cells that line your lips or inside of your mouth.

Apparently, there is no clear evidence about the reason for the mutations in squamous cells that prompt mouth cancer. However, doctors clear some factors that may heighten the risk of oral cancer.

 

Risk Factors

Here are the following factors that can increase your danger of mouth cancer:

  • Too much sun exposure to your lipsdental checkup
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Tobacco use such as cigars, cigarettes, pipes, snuff, or chewing tobacco
  • A weakened immune system
  • A sexually transmitted virus known as human papillomavirus (HPV)

 

Treatment

If the lesion shows early indications of cancer, you may require treatment to stop the malignant transformation. If you have severe dysplasia, there is a danger that you may foster mouth malignancy. Removing this will also remove your risk of mouth cancer. Your doctor or dentist may use a laser or scalpel to remove the cancerous patches.

Additionally, you can try to take medications called retinoids on leukoplakia. These are made from vitamin A, and in fact, most people use this to treat severe acne and other skin conditions. They can be compelling in treating leukoplakia, yet they can have serious side effects.

Another thing you can take is the beta carotene. It is an anti-oxidant that is transformed into vitamin A in your body. Some studies showed that beta carotene might be a good treatment for leukoplakia lesions. However, some health providers do not prescribe this treatment.

Furthermore, your doctor will strongly advise you to quit smoking. This is because there is a high possibility that cancer will come back if you continue to smoke. Seeing a dentist for regular checkups and cleaning is also advisable to help detect early signs of mouth cancer or precancerous changes.

 

References:

What Are Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Cancers?

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer/about/what-is-oral-cavity-cancer.html

Melanoma Of The Head And Neck.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513248/

Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/nursing-and-health-professions/squamous-cell-carcinoma