Mouth cancer may be squamous cell carcinoma, verrucous carcinoma, minor salivary gland carcinoma, lymphoma, benign oral cavity and oropharyngeal tumor, leukoplakia or erythroplakia.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Majority of cancers that are present in the mouth and pharynx are squamous cell cancers. Typically, the oral cavity is lined with squamous cells, which are flat and look like scales. Squamous cell cancer cells are irregular in shape.
About 5 percent of all oral tumors are verrucous carcinoma, which is a slow growing cancer made up of squamous cells. This kind of oral tumor can affect the oral cavity but can also spread to other parts of the body.
Minor salivary gland carcinomas
This type is composed of cancers that originate from the minor salivary organs, which are found all in the oropharyngeal areas. These types include adenoid cystic cancers and mucoepidermoid cancers.
These are cancers that form in lymph tissue such as those found in the tonsils and the tongue. They affect the lymphatic system.
Benign oral cavity and oropharyngeal tumors
These cancers are from the structures of the oral cavity and oropharynx. Now and again, these conditions may form into tumors. Therefore, benign tumors, which don’t reform, are frequently removed. The types include:
- Eosinophilic granuloma
- Granular cell tumor
- Condyloma acuminatum
- Verruciform xanthoma
- Pyogenic granuloma
- Odontogenic tumors
Leukoplakia and erythroplakia
These non-malignant conditions imply that there are types of anomalous cells in the mouth or throat. Leukoplakia means that there is a white area while a red area is found in erythroplakia. The two conditions might be precancerous; that is, they can form into various sorts of cancers. A biopsy or other tests are needed to confirm whether there is a malignancy or not.
Signs and symptoms of mouth cancer may include:
- Non-healing sore
- Bleeding sore
- A growth or lump in the mouth
- Loose teeth
- Poorly fitting dentures
- Tongue pain
- Jaw pain
- Jaw stiffness
- Difficult chewing
- Difficult swallowing
- Sore throat