Ulcers vs Oral Cancer: Easy Confusion

Author: Dr. Nhan Tam View: 5,462
Oral cancer is a disease that is easy to diagnose and detect early, but due to subjectivity and even confusion with mouth ulcers, we are often treated when it is too late.

Oral cancer is a disease that arises due to malignant changes in the oral mucosa covering the entire oral cavity.

Oral cavity cancer includes: Cancer of the lips (upper lip, lower lip, commissure), upper gingiva, lower gingiva, hard palate, intermaxillary fissure, tongue (mobile part), cheek mucosa and floor of the mouth.

Overview of oral cavity cancer

Mr. T.V.N (40 years old) was hospitalized with a stiff, infected tongue and could not speak.

At first it was just heat and mouth ulcers. I thought it was due to the heat so I took Oriental medicine and cold food but the disease still did not improve. At the hospital, he was discovered to have tongue cancer, had to have his tongue completely removed and treated with radiation.

According to doctors, early stage oral cancer has almost no pain or discomfort. Patients often mistake it for mouth ulcers, so they do not go to the doctor.

Mouth tumors are only considered too large when the damage has spread, the ulcer has not healed and there are symptoms such as difficulty eating, difficulty swallowing, bleeding, earache and swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

Oral cancer includes: lips (upper, lower, edges), upper gums, lower gums, maxillary crevices, tongue, oral mucosa and floor of the mouth. If treated in stages 1 and 2, the 5-year survival rate can be as high as 85%.

However, when the tumor has spread widely and is accompanied by lymph node metastases, this rate drops below 50%.

Experts also warn that even if a patient has surgery to remove the tumor and has radiotherapy, the possibility of recurrence or development of secondary cancer is very high, so regular monitoring after treatment is very important.

Oral cancer is the 6th most common cancer in the world, the 4th most common cancer in men and the 8th most common cancer in women.

Smoking and alcohol abuse are the two leading causes of oral cancer. People who have the habit of chewing betel and flossing their teeth are susceptible to inner cheek cancer.

Long-term exposure to the sun's UV rays, especially in light-skinned people, is susceptible to DNA damage in skin cells that can lead to cancer. Poor oral hygiene and improper wearing of dentures can easily irritate the mucosa and cause cancer.

Symptoms of oral cavity cancer.

According to Dr. Khanh Duy, patients should immediately see a specialist if the following signs appear:

  • The ulcer does not heal after 2 weeks
  • Sclerotic lesions, cauliflower-like buds in the mouth
  • White/red/black patches in the mouth, tooth extraction socket not healing
  • Loose teeth for unknown reasons
  • Functional problems: difficulty chewing, difficulty speaking, increased salivation

Patients can also self-detect signs of oral cancer when they discover that their lips, mouth and throat are unusually swollen and hard by looking in the mirror or touching them.

Ulcers appear in the mouth, stay in one place, do not heal or tend to spread even when using regular medicine for 2-3 weeks.

Feeling of indescribable pain, sharp pain, dull pain, unclear pain; choking, choking, swallowing difficulty or difficulty swallowing, unusual hoarseness, strange voice changes, weight loss, fatigue...

Subjects of oral cavity cancer

  • Male, with a history of drinking alcohol and smoking.
  • People have the habit of chewing betel.
  • People with pre-cancerous lesions that recur over and over without complete treatment.
  • People with HPV virus, unsafe sex, oral sex.
  • Women with Plummer-Vinson syndrome.

See more: 6 signs of cancer you can recognize at home

How to prevent oral cancer

What should be done to prevent oral cancer?

There are many factors that lead to oral cancer. Minimizing these factors is the main prevention measure of the disease:

  • No smoking.
  • Limit alcohol.
  • Give up the habit of chewing betel every day.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene.
  • HPV vaccination in both women and men.
  • Have safe sex.
  • Complete treatment of pre-cancerous lesions.

Above is the information about oral cancer that our Dental Clinic has sent to readers. Hopefully this information will help you in recognizing and preventing this disease.