Oral cancer is the 6th most common malignancy worldwide, and the third most common in developing countries. Prompt referral for assessment, biopsy, and treatment is mandatory if there is any suspicion of oral malignancy or for any lesion that does not resolve within 2 weeks.
Recognised risk factors for oral cancer include:
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol consumption
- Diets low in fruit and vegetables
- Betel nut
Oral cancer typically presents as non-specific white and/or red mucosal changes with or without ulceration. With disease progression, the following symptoms may be experienced by the patient:
- Loosening of the teeth
- Neck lump
- Numbness of the tongue or other area of the mouth
Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common form of oral cancer.