Oral cancer and precancer may assume a variety of appearances including a white patch, red patch, open sore (ulcer) or mass. This can occur in any part of the mouth but the sides and undersurface of the tongue are most commonly affected. Risk factors include tobacco and alcohol but there is a small subset of patients with no clear risk factor. It is not unusual for oral cancers to go unnoticed for a prolonged time, as initially, there may be no associated pain or symptoms.
The extent of the cancer (stage) is an important predictor of prognosis, and accordingly, every effort should be made for an early diagnosis. Any suspicious or persistent lesion should be brought to the attention of an oral health care professional.
We would recommend performing an oral cancer self-examination monthly and remember that your mouth is one of your body’s most important warning systems. Do not ignore suspicious lumps or sores. Please contact us so we may help.