Conscious patient

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Factors that can contribute to the development of oral cancer, include also: chronic inflammation induced by e.g. ill-fitting denture and constant irritation of the tongue with sharp edges of teeth.

Oral examination

It should be performed at least every 6 months – such appointments make it possible to detect cancer and fight it successfully.

Alarming lesions

Some untreated pathological lesions within oral mucosa have tendency to becoming malignant. Leukoplakia, also referred to as leukokeratosis (i.e. white keratosis), is an example of dysplasia which, in many cases, transforms into cancer. The lesion in most cases develops within the lips, internal cheek surfaces, corners of the mouth, and the tongue. At the beginning, it looks like white spots that are completely different from healthy mucosa. Over time, red ulcerations and erosions develop, and inflammation develops at the edges. In most cases, the lesion is painless, even though some Patients may report hardness and roughness involving epithelium.

Leukoplakia is strictly related do nicotine addiction –the majority of cases develop in nicotine addicts. Also, chemical irritants (such as alcohol, coffee, sharp and tingling spices), and also –chronic trauma caused by e.g. improper restoration, sharp edges of teeth, ill-fitting dentures may cause this pathology to develop.

Leukoplakia tends to become malignant in approximately 10-20% of cases. The risk of cancer development is related to the Patient’s age, smoking, chronic trauma, and inflammation.

Erythroplakia is another example of dysplasia that should alarm the Patient. In most cases it looks like singular, bright- or dark-red spots that are oval-shaped and glossy, with smooth or granulomatous surface. In most cases, this lesion is also painless, and that is why it often goes unnoticed by Patients. It is also worth mentioning that erythroplakia is definitely more dangerous than leukoplakia – 40% of cancer cases develop as a consequence of erythroplakia lesions.

Risk of cancer development

The risk for developing oral cancer increases in patients in whom lichen planus is diagnosed. This lesion – which is usually located on the internal cheek surfaces, less frequently within the tongue, lips, and gums – looks like white, characteristic lesions covered with symmetrical striae (however, in some cases it may look like nodules or blisters). Also, the colour of the lesions may vary – it may be white, red, pink, violet or blue. Lichen planus is a chronic disease and occurs mostly between the age of 30 and 60.

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Wielkopolskie Centrum Medyczne
Sp z o.o. S.K.A

st. Bolesława Krzywoustego 114
61-144 Poznań, POLAND

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