Tele Oral Medicine

Oral Cancer

Oral cancers can occur on the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, palate, and throat (pharynx). Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common oral cancer. If not recognised and treated promptly, it can be fatal. Oral cancer must be treated early to improve survival and reduce long-term consequences. 

Signs and Symptoms:

Symptoms of the oral cancer include:

  • Lesions presenting as a hard fixed lump, a necrotic lesion, a white plaque, an exophytic mass or a chronic ulcer.
  • A white or mixed red/white appearance (Leukoplakia/Erythroleukoplakia).
  • A solitary red lesion (Erythroplakia).
  • More advanced lesions may have raised rolled margins and central necrosis and are typically larger.

Risk factors:

The risk factors for the development of mouth cancer include:

  • Smoking.
  • Excessive alcohol consumption.
  • A family history of cancer.
  • Excessive sun exposure, especially from a young age.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) infection caused by an active sex life.
  • Imbalanced diet and a poor lifestyle.
  • Age as this condition is most common after 55 years.
  • Oral cancer affects men more than women.


Oral cancer treatment is similar to other types of cancer treatment. Following surgery to remove the abnormal growth, depending on the aggressiveness of the cancer, radiation therapy may be used to eliminate any remaining cancer cells.

Tips to prevent:

Oral cancer is thought to begin when the DNA in your mouth’s cells is destroyed. However, some of the factors that can reduce the risk of oral cancer include:

  • Refraining from consuming tobacco products and alcohol.
  • A well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
  • Protecting yourself from the harmful sun. The chance of developing cancer on the lips, particularly the lower lip, increases with prolonged sunlight exposure. When in the sun, apply UV-A/B-blocking sun protection cream to your skin and lips and wear a long brim hat.

When to see a doctor?

If you have any recurring signs and symptoms that are concerning and persist for more than two weeks, it is recommended to visit a doctor.  


To consult an Oral Medicine Specialist regarding oral cancer lesions, ask your doctor or dentist to refer you to TeleOralMedicine.  

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