Oral Cancer is a sub classification of head and neck cancer. Oropharyngeal cancers and mouth cancer are the alternative terms of oral cancer. It is characterized by growth of cancer cells or cancerous tissues in oral cavities. More than 90% of oral cancers accounts for growth of cancer cells in the tongue. However, cancer cells are also developed and grown in mouth, gums, lips, palates and linings of cheek. It can be classified into different types and more than 85% of the oral cancer accounts for Squamous cell carcinoma. Carcinoma is nothing but called cancer. However, when the cancer cells are examined under microscopes, all types of Oral cancers tend to appear similarly.Let us see the different types of oral cancer and its symptoms.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Mouth
As stated above, these types of mouth cancer accounts for more than 85% of people affected by developed of cancerous tissues. Squamous cells refer to skin line cells and flat tissues present in the interiors of the mouth. These cells refer to nose, throat, larynx and month. Presence or growth of carcinoma cells in these tissues is called the Squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth.
In majority of cases, the symptoms are not apparent and it is quite difficult to diagnose the condition in the initial stages. It can be identified only when the carcinoma is developed into an advanced stage. Some of the signs of the squamous cells carcinoma of the mouth include difficulty in eating i.e chewing, drinking, swallowing, etc., soreness of mouth, mouth ulcers, frequent bleeding, constant throat irritation, patches in the mouth, difficult to move the jaws and speak, hoarseness, chronic pain in the ears, sudden development of severe head ache, etc.
It is a subtype of Squamous cell carcinoma which accounts of 1% of cancer population affected by Oropharyngeal carcinoma. It is characterized by an intense or extensive growth of malignant tumors into deep Squamous cells and tissues of the mouth, larynx and throat. This condition is obviously results towards developing malignant tumors as the interior cells are affected by cancerous tissues. The symptoms are similar to Squamous cell carcinoma, but they are little aggressive.
Salivary Gland Carcinoma
When salivary glands are affected by the development of malignant tumors it is called salivary gland carcinoma. Around 2% of patients affected by Oropharyngeal carcinoma are affected by this type of carcinoma. The most common and apparent sign of salivary gland carcinoma is inflammation of the jaws or near the neck. This is the rarest form of malignant tumors and not everyone who develops lump or swelling neck and mouth develop malignant tumors, as 75% of tumors are benign, i.e non cancerous.
Yet, when any one experience the lump or inflammation with the combination of following symptoms the risk is greater.
- Facial palsy
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Numbness in a part of the face
- Swollen face
Moreover, these symptoms are not just associated with cancerous growth and they are also found to be signs of other problems. Eventually, appropriate diagnosis is crucial to treat the condition before it becomes too late.
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Lymphoma and Melanoma
Development of tumors in the lymph nodes is called the lymphoma carcinoma of the mouth. Melanoma carcinoma of the mouth is yet another type of Oropharyngeal carcinoma, where melanoma refers to the element that is responsible for skin pigmentation. It is characterized by development of malignant tumors in the inner part of mouth and nose in the melanoma.
Not all the cancerous grown in the mouth or cavities may not be a cancer. In generally Oropharyngeal carcinoma can be classified into malignant tumors and benign tumors i.e growth of cancerous tissues and non-cancerous tissues respectively. A white or red patches found in the mouth need not be an Oropharyngeal carcinoma. The major difference between a cancerous tissues and benign tissues, the former tend to grow and spread, where later remains the same.