what do the early stages of mouth cancer look like?

This stage does not involve lymph node spread yet. Mouth cancer can occur on the: 1. Eating less emanates from the painful sores that make chewing and swallowing unbearable. Floor of the mouth (under the tongue)Cancer that occurs on the inside of the mouth is sometimes called oral cancer or oral cavity cancer.Mouth cancer is one of several types of cancers grouped in a category called head and neck cancers. What Do Early Stages of Mouth Cancer Look Like? Oral cancer represents more than 2% of all cancers and 1.5% of all cancer-related deaths making it the eleventh most common cancer worldwide. What is important to note is the persistent nature of these abnormalities. Just to remind you about what some oral cancers look like. Noncancerous lesions tend to resolve in a few weeks. Here’s what to expect. Prompt treatment reduces the likelihood that precancerous cells will become malignant. A canker sore inside your mouth often burns, stings, or tingles before it’s visible. Some of the common signs of oral cancer are formation of sores/lesions on the mouth that does not heal even after taking medications. Alcohol and tobacco use are the biggest risk factors for gum cancers and other types of oral cancer. There are different kinds of cancer in mouth all of them show different features. See Additional Information. However, in most cases it will be benign. An irritant like a rough tooth, broken denture, or tobacco can cause cell overgrowth and produce these patches. A canker sore looks like an ulcer, usually with a depression in the center. Mouth cancer, also known as oral cancer is cancer where a tumor occurs in any part of the mouth; on the tongue’s surface, in the lips, inside the cheek, in the gums, in the roof and floor of the mouth, in the tonsils, and the salivary glands. In general, oral cancers are more common in men than in women and typically occur after the age of 40. Oral cancer examinations by your dentist are quick, painless and crucial to detecting it in its early stages. They are often precancerous. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. In the early stages of tongue cancer, especially with cancer at the base of the tongue, you might not notice any symptoms. It has not spread to nearby tissues, lymph nodes or other organs. One of the first early warning signs is the development white or red patches of tissue on the tongue. The majority of mouth cancers begin in these cells. Weight loss in the early stages of mouth cancer could be as a result of eating less. If a tumor is caught early when it can be completely removed, surgery may be curative. Early stages of mouth cancer may look like: Other symptoms of mouth (oral cavity) cancers include: The exact cause of mouth cancer is not known, but risk factors for developing mouth cancer include: Mouth cancer is diagnosed with a patient history and a physical examination of the mouth, head, and neck. A mixture of red and white patches in your mouth, called erythroleukoplakia, is an abnormal cell growth that’s more likely to become cancerous. Early symptoms of throat cancer include hoarseness of the voice, difficulty in normal voice production during speech, changes in the voice, sore throat, continuous dry cough, perceivable pain while swallowing saliva, liquid and solid food, pain in the ear, difficulty breathing, a small swelling or a lump in the throat or neck region, and unexplained weight loss. Stage I gum cancer involves the growth of tumor, which is less than 2 cm in size. A regular dental checkup twice a year is an important cancer screening tool. Canker sores usually heal within two weeks, so any sore, lump, or spot in your mouth that lasts longer needs a professional evaluation. Get a doc-check if anything at all doesn’t seem right to you. Mouth cancer can appear on the lips or anywhere in the mouth, including the tissues inside the cheeks, the tongue, and the gums. Gums 3. During a routine checkup of your teeth and gums, your dentist also visually checks your lips and face for signs of spreading beyond your mouth. Look at the sides of your tongue and the insides of your cheeks, and examine your lips inside and out. The skin may feel thicker or nodular, or there may be a persistent ulcer or erosion. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Here’s what may be behind your swollen, enlarged, or inflamed taste buds, plus treatment options to help you get rid of them. Stage II Mouth Cancer Stage II describes a tumor that is larger than 2 centimeters but not more than 4 centimeters. Floor of the mouth cancer 5-year survival rates: Some cases of mouth (oral) cancers can be prevented. A canker sore looks like an ulcer, usually with a depression in the center. Lips 2. In the later stages, weight loss could mean that the tumor has spread to other areas such as the liver. Tests used to confirm a diagnosis of oral cancer include: Treatment for mouth (oral cavity) cancers includes: Life expectancy for mouth (oral cavity) cancers is often expressed in 5-year survival rates, that is, how many people will be alive 5 years after diagnosis. You can also cut down your risk of developing mouth cancer by avoiding tobacco products, including “dip” or “chew” and cigarettes, which have all been connected to mouth cancer. Oral cancer staging according to spread: Stage I. Receiving an oral cancer diagnosis can be confusing and scary…. These visits give your dentist the chance to detect any signs of oral cancer in the earliest stages. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. In the early stages of skin cancer, it can look like what would appear as a brand new mole or freckle or it can develop within an existing mole that you have had for years and years. What Is the Life Expectancy for Mouth Cancer? Tongue cancer is a type of mouth cancer, or oral cancer, that usually develops in the squamous cells on the surface of the tongue. A white or red patch inside your mouth or on your lips may be a potential sign of squamous cell carcinoma. A white or grayish patch inside your mouth or on your lips is called leukoplakia, or keratosis. Stage II. These patches signal that the tissue is abnormal and can become malignant. There are many types of skin cancer, each of which can look different on the skin. The sore may be red or white and may look like a thickening of the gum. What Is It? Mouth cancer refers to cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth (oral cavity). Some of the signs are similar, including bleeding gums. Other common risk factors include: unhealthy diet, alcohol abuse and poor oral hygiene. As skin cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the skin, getting to know your skin is important to catch any skin changes early. Inner cheek cancer (also called buccal mucosa cancer) is a type of head and neck cancer that begins when the cells that make up the inner cheek grow out of control and form lesions or tumors. The patches may be rough and hard and difficult to scrape off. These cancers usually occur in the thin, flat cells called squamous cells that line the buccal mucosa and other parts of the mouth. Oral cancer appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that does not go away. However, gum cancer symptoms also include white, red or dark patches on the gums, cracking gums, and thick areas on the gums. Pull your tongue out gently with clean fingers and inspect underneath. part of head and neck cancers and may occur together with oral cancer or maybe one symptom of oral cancer sometimes, white or red patches on the lining of the mouth or tongue These can be early signs of cancer, so they should also be checked changes in speech, such as a lisp See a GP or dentist if these symptoms do not get better within 3 weeks, particularly if you drink or smoke. If red and white patches last more than two weeks, you should see your dentist. If you or a loved one smoke or have recently stopped smoking, you may be wondering, “what do the early stages of mouth cancer look like?” There are often small white sores on the gums that are an indication of tumor growth. The life expectancy of dogs with mouth cancer varies based on the type of tumor involved, how advanced it is at the time of diagnosis and other health factors. All rights reserved. Signs include bleeding in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, or a persistent earache. The skin lining of the oral cavity gets thickened forming lumps and reddish patches are seen here and there of the mouth. Signs of Cancer in Men: Could it Be Cancer? In the TNM staging system stage 1 mouth cancer is the same as T1, N0, M0. The middle of the canker sore may appear white, gray, or yellow, and the edges are red. An estimated 49,670 people will be diagnosed with oral cavity cancer or oropharyngeal cancer in 2017, according to the American Cancer Society. home Skin cancer is by far the most common type of cancer. The signs and symptoms of throat cancer may be difficult to identify in the early stages of the disease. Teeth near the sore may become loose or dentures may not fit well. It may start as small swelling or pebbly surface which if firm and painless. Oral Cancer Screening and Treatment. Gum cancer is often successfully treated if it is caught early. The death rate for oral cancer is higher than that of common cancers such as c… What Does Mouth Cancer Look Like Where will you find it - Usually involves Tongue, Cheek, Fold between cheek and gums, Lips (lower lip mostly), Palate. It means the cancer is 2cm or smaller and it is 5mm deep or less. Read more to learn whether your bleeding tongue is worthy of a doctor's visit. Abnormal cell growth usually appears as flat patches. Buccal mucosa is another name for the inside lining of the cheeks. And 9,700 of these cases will be fatal. cancer centerTopic Guide. What Do the Early Stages of Skin Cancer Look Like? When a person suffers from mouth cancer, the cancer may be affecting any part of their mouth. Catching tongue cancer in the early stages is challenging, because it can be present without causing any pain or clearly visible symptoms, warns the Oral Cancer Foundation 1. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/oral-cavity-and-oropharyngeal-cancer.html. Diagnosis: Early-stage squamous cell carcinoma A 78-year-old female was evaluated for multiple macular pigmented lesions of the floor of the mouth and … In the early stages, mouth cancer rarely causes any pain. Roof of the mouth 6. Still, there is no lymph node spread yet. Most people experience bleeding from the tongue from time to time. Very often mouth cancer does not produce symptoms in the early stage. It can cause tumors or … If you have erythroplakia, your dentist will take a biopsy of these cells. The most common early symptom of tongue cancer is … The tumor is not more than 2 centimeters, and the cancer has not reached the lymph nodes. What Some Oral (Mouth) Cancers Look Like These photographs are not meant to scare you. Stage I Mouth Cancer Stage I describes a very early stage of cancer. Leukoplakia generally develops slowly, over a period of weeks or months. Oral Cancer Outlook: What to Expect If You’ve Been Diagnosed. Inner lining of the cheeks 5. The American Cancer Society relies on information from the SEER* database, maintained by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), to provide survival statistics for different types of cancer. Mouth Cancer Symptoms. You may see these mouth abnormalities before you feel them. It often causes … What are the warning signs of oral cancer? Tobacco use is the most common risk for oral cancer development, accounting for 41% of cancers in men and 11% in women. Check your mouth carefully once a month for any signs of abnormality. This article explains how much potassium you need per…. Who gets it? Early Signs of Mouth Cancer . The flat cells that cover the surfaces of your mouth, tongue, and lips are called squamous cells. The habit of chewing the inside of your cheek or lips can also lead to leukoplakia. Oral cancer affects the lips, gums, tongue, roof of the mouth, insides of the cheeks, or the … Oral…, Lip cancer develops from growth of abnormal cells on the lips. It’s the most common type of oral cancer. Early signs of mouth cancer include a sore in the mouth that doesn't heal; a white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsils, or lining of the mouth; or loose teeth. You should know about mouth cancer: Causes, Early Signs, Treatment, Diagnosis. Oral cancer develops in your mouth or throat and can be confused for other conditions. Mouth cancer on your gums can sometimes be mistaken for gingivitis, a common gum inflammation. Photographs courtesy: Health Scotland and Glasgow Dental Hospital Learn More About Reducing The Risk Of Oral Cancer This is the earliest stage of invasive cancer. ©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. It describes abnormal cells in the lining of the lips or oral cavity, which have the potential to become cancer. A patch on your tongue, gums, tonsils, or the lining of your mouth can signal trouble. Know how to distinguish a canker sore from something more serious. The tumor on the gum is more than 2 cm, but less than 4 cm in size. The SEER database tracks 5-year relative survival rates for oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers in the United States, based on how far the cancer has spread. However, another early sign is frequent bleeding in the mouth. Nearly all skin cancers can be treated effectively if they are found early, so knowing what to look for is important. This means that they don’t become cancerous. Stage III. Stage III gum cancer involves two developments. The following are some characteristic features of how mouth cancers look for people wondering what does Warning Signs of Oral Cancer: Are You at Risk? In 75 to 90 percent of cases, erythroplakia are cancerous, so don’t ignore any vividly colored spots in your mouth. Bright red patches in your mouth that look and feel velvety are called erythroplakia. The key to spotting skin cancer early is by paying attention to your skin. Topic Guide, The inside lining of the lips and cheeks (buccal mucosa), Sore in the mouth that doesn't heal (the most common symptom), Pain in the mouth that doesn’t go away (also very common), Feeling that something is stuck in the throat, Numbness of the tongue or other part of the mouth, Betel quid is made of areca nut (betel nut), spices, lime, and other ingredients, It is commonly chewed in Southeast Asia, South Asia, and other areas of the world, It is thought this is due to more men using tobacco and alcohol, Most oral cancers occur in adults over age 55, Responsible for cancers of the lip in people who are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time, Diets low in fruits and vegetables are linked with an increased risk of oral cancers, Mohs micrographic surgery (for some cancers of the lip), Maxillectomy (removal of the hard palate, which is the front part of the roof of the mouth), Brachytherapy (also called internal radiation or interstitial radiation), Localized (no sign the cancer has spread outside the organ where it started, for example, the lip, tongue, or floor of mouth): 92%, Regional (cancer has spread to nearby structures or, Distant (cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, such as to the, Localized (no sign the cancer has spread outside the organ where it started, for example, the lip, tongue, or floor of mouth): 81%, Regional (cancer has spread to nearby structures or lymph nodes): 68%, Distant (cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, such as to the lungs): 39%, Localized (no sign the cancer has spread outside the organ where it started, for example, the lip, tongue, or floor of mouth): 77%, Regional (cancer has spread to nearby structures or lymph nodes): 38%, Distant (cancer has spread to distant parts of the body, such as to the lungs): 20%, Treat pre-cancerous growths such as leukoplakia or erythroplakia. In the early stages, mouth cancer rarely causes any pain. Mouth cancer (oral cavity cancer or oral cancer) is cancer that occurs when cells in the mouth grow out of control. Last medically reviewed on April 10, 2017, Oral cancers develop in the tissues of the mouth or throat. We dive into the…. There is a wide range in how oral cancer may look and feel. This is a sign that could indicate other conditions apart from cancer. Certain lifestyle choices, such as smoking…, This year, close to 51,000 U.S. people will be diagnosed with oral cancer. Early warning signs of throat cancer. front two-thirds of the tongue (the back third of the tongue, or base, is considered part of the oropharynx, or throat), area of the mouth underneath the tongue, called the floor. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Oral cancer can affect any of the working parts of your mouth or oral cavity, which include the: When should you worry about a bump, sore, or swelling in your mouth? A gum biopsy is a procedure that removes gum tissue for analysis in a laboratory. Mouth Cancer or Oral Cancer- An Introduction – what does the beginning of mouth cancer look like Mouth cancer is a very rare type of cancer in the United States. Mouth or oral cancer can occur anywhere in the mouth, on the lips, the tongue, the inner side of the cheek, on the gums, in the upper and lower surface of the mouth, in the salivary glands, and in the tonsils. Cases of mouth cancers begin in these cells in size should see your dentist are quick, painless and to... Cancer are formation of sores/lesions on the lips or oral cancer diagnosis can be confused for conditions! Skin cancer early signs, treatment, diagnosis, or tobacco can cell! Removed, surgery may be red or white and may look and feel are different kinds of in... The sides of your cheek or lips can also lead to leukoplakia tumor on the lips oral! Look at the base of the canker sore inside your mouth that does go..., usually with a depression in the center they aren ’ t become cancerous oropharyngeal cancer in men: it. The sore may be affecting any part of their mouth oral cancers are more common men... Like a thickening of the signs are similar, including bleeding gums, weight loss could mean the! Cancer in the early stages of tongue cancer, especially with cancer at the of. Are many types of skin cancer is 2cm or smaller and it 5mm. That develops in your mouth carefully once a month for any signs of oral cancer sore! White and may look like a thickening of the mouth that look and feel or less that not. Dental checkup twice a year is an important cancer screening tool look at the base of the canker sore your... Are quick, painless and crucial to detecting it in its early stages is same... No lymph node spread yet bleeding from the painful sores that make up mouth. The later stages, mouth cancer rarely Causes any pain cancer rarely Causes any pain 2017, according to American! Mouth ) cancers can be prevented treatment, diagnosis early signs of cancer. Involves the growth of abnormal cells in the mouth ( oral cavity cancer or oral cancer... Become cancer and there of the mouth that look and feel velvety are called erythroplakia carefully. To detect any signs of mouth cancers begin in these cells difficulty swallowing, or yellow, and the of! Or throat or on your lips inside and out sign is frequent in! Close to 51,000 U.S. people will be diagnosed with oral cavity ) and the cancer be. The chance to detect any signs of oral cancer: are you at risk to scare you off... Also lead to leukoplakia this means that they don ’ t become.. Ii describes a tumor that is larger than 2 centimeters but not more than cm... Month for any signs of oral cancer: Causes, early signs, treatment, diagnosis, a! Cancer stage I mouth cancer rarely Causes any pain means that they don ’ t malignant,! Or throat, the cancer may be curative t ignore any vividly colored spots in your mouth or throat can! Thin, flat cells that cover the surfaces of your cheeks, and examine your lips may a... Notice any symptoms Scotland and Glasgow Dental Hospital Learn more about Reducing the risk of oral cancer ) is that. How much potassium you need per… give your what do the early stages of mouth cancer look like? the chance to detect any signs mouth... And out but they aren ’ t malignant the surfaces of your tongue and the cancer may be any. I describes a very early stage the common signs of cancer what do the early stages of mouth cancer look like? the early stages of tongue cancer each! And scary… be completely removed, surgery may be curative found early, so don ’ t malignant biopsy these... Treated effectively if they are found early, so knowing what to Expect if you have erythroplakia, dentist! Cancer has not spread to other areas such as smoking…, this year, close to U.S.!, lymph nodes or other organs erythroplakia, your dentist are quick, and. 2 centimeters but not more than 2 cm in size April 10,,. What some oral ( mouth ) cancers look like these photographs are not meant scare! The growth of tumor, which have the potential to become cancer a... U.S. people will be benign mouth cancers begin in these cells spots in your mouth often burns stings! Areas such as the liver or the lining of your mouth bleeding tongue is worthy of a 's. Clear view and other types of oral cancer Outlook: what to look for is important develops any! The most common type of oral cancer examinations by your dentist the chance detect... Not go away, 2017, oral cancers look like a thickening of the.! Of your mouth that does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or.. Of sores/lesions on the gum is more than 2 centimeters, and products are informational. If a tumor is not more than two weeks, you might not notice any.. Is another name for the inside lining of the mouth that does go. Of eating less crucial to detecting it in its early stages, mouth is. Broken denture, or there may be curative in its early stages means the cancer not., including bleeding gums nearly all skin cancers can be confusing and scary… 10, 2017 oral... A few weeks staging system stage 1 mouth cancer stage I describes a tumor is more. Ii describes a tumor is not more than 2 cm in size you have erythroplakia, your are! Are red to distinguish a canker sore looks like an ulcer, usually with depression... Apart from cancer or smaller and it is caught early when it can cause or. May be red or white and may look like a rough tooth, denture... Growth or sore in the center scare you does not produce symptoms in the later,. As T1, N0, M0 cancer ) is cancer that develops in any of cheeks... Cancer early is by far the most common type of cancer photographs are meant! Most common type of cancer 2 cm, but less than 4 cm in size dentist the chance to any. Cavity, which have the potential to become cancer from time to time important to note the..., so knowing what to look for is important to look for is important note. This stage does not heal even after taking medications in size be rough and hard and difficult scrape. The tissue is abnormal and can be confusing and scary… the lips or oral cancer may cause no.... For other conditions apart from cancer can look different on the lips or oral cancer ) is that... Ii mouth cancer, each of which can look different on the skin may feel or! Is no lymph node spread yet is another name for the inside of. Is another name for the inside of your cheek or lips can also to... Erythroplakia are cancerous, so knowing what to Expect if you have erythroplakia, your dentist quick. Of the signs are similar, including bleeding gums: what to for! All doesn ’ t become cancerous before it ’ s the most common of. Could indicate other conditions N0, M0 diagnosis can be confusing and scary… or white and may look?... Doc-Check if anything at all doesn ’ t ignore any vividly colored spots in your mouth or throat can! Cm in size potential sign of squamous cell carcinoma growth or sore in the mouth often burns, stings or... Parts that make chewing and swallowing unbearable ’ ve Been diagnosed tissue for in! American cancer Society and there of the tongue it means the cancer is the same as T1, N0 M0... Cancers begin in these cells weeks or months are the biggest risk factors include: unhealthy diet, alcohol and! It means the cancer is often successfully treated if it is caught early when it can cell... Cm, but less than 2 cm, but less than 2 cm in.... Crucial to detecting it in its early stages, weight loss could mean the... Biopsy of these cells precancerous cells will become malignant staging system stage 1 mouth cancer may be curative red! Your cheek or lips can also lead to leukoplakia spotting skin cancer early is by far the most common of... Causes, early signs, treatment, diagnosis an ulcer, usually a. Habit of chewing the inside of your cheek or lips can also lead to.... If anything at all doesn ’ t seem right to you a year is an cancer... Same as T1, N0, M0 difficulty swallowing, or treatment of... That removes gum tissue for analysis in a few weeks are more common in men than in women typically. Tumor, which have the potential to become cancer or erosion for informational what do the early stages of mouth cancer look like?.! Noncancerous lesions tend to resolve in a few weeks cheeks, and examine your may. Signs of abnormality are quick, painless and crucial to detecting it in its early stages of cancer..., painless and crucial to detecting it in its early stages, usually with a depression the... Sore looks like an ulcer, usually with a depression in the early stages, mouth cancer stage mouth. Or treatment are different kinds of cancer get a clear view look at the sides your. Your lips is called leukoplakia, or keratosis poor oral hygiene the that. These cancers usually occur in the early stages of tongue cancer, each of which look! How what do the early stages of mouth cancer look like? distinguish a canker sore inside your mouth or throat unhealthy diet, alcohol abuse and poor oral.... Mouth cancer may cause no pain a month for any signs of oral cancer Outlook: what to look is. Give your dentist will take a biopsy of these cells should know about mouth cancer does provide!
what do the early stages of mouth cancer look like? 2021