Why is oral cancer diagnosed late?
Advanced-stage diagnosis in oral cancer has traditionally been attributed to delays in reaching a diagnosis, as patients at advance tumour stages are more likely to have longer patient and professional delays than those at early stages (27).
What are late symptoms of oral cancer?
Oral cancer symptoms
- Persistent mouth sores that do not heal.
- Persistent mouth pain.
- A lump or thickening in the cheek.
- A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, tonsil, or lining of the mouth.
- A sore throat or persistent feeling that something is caught in the throat.
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing.
Can oral cancer be missed?
While a detailed report on examination findings is important for all patients, the only hard evidence that you have not breached your duty of care in the case of a missed diagnosis for oral cancer will be within the clinical records.
How long does oral cancer take to develop?
Fact: Most cases of oral cancer are found in patients 50 years or older because this form of the disease often takes many years to develop. However, the number of cases linked to HPV and oral cancer has risen over the years and is putting younger people at a greater risk.
Is oral cancer hard or soft?
Oral cancer may appear differently based on its stage, location in the mouth, and other factors. Oral cancer may present as: patches of rough, white, or red tissue. a hard, painless lump near the back teeth or in the cheek.
What can be mistaken for oral cancer?
Symptoms of oral cancer are commonly mistaken for other, less serious conditions, such as a toothache or mouth sore. If seemingly benign symptoms persist, however, you should call your doctor, who may recommend tests to check for oral cancer. Symptoms may include: A mouth sore that won’t heal.
How can mouth cancer make you feel?
Symptoms of mouth cancer mouth ulcers that are painful and do not heal within several weeks. unexplained, persistent lumps in the mouth or the neck that do not go away. unexplained loose teeth or sockets that do not heal after extractions. unexplained, persistent numbness or an odd feeling on the lip or tongue.
How do you rule out oral cancer?
A biopsy is the only way to know for sure that oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer is present. A sample of tissue or cells is always needed to confirm a cancer diagnosis before treatment is started. Several types of biopsies may be used, depending on each case.
What color is oral cancer?
A white or red patch inside your mouth or on your lips may be a potential sign of squamous cell carcinoma. There is a wide range in how oral cancer may look and feel. The skin may feel thicker or nodular, or there may be a persistent ulcer or erosion.
How long does it take to diagnose oral cancer?
Diagnosis can be delayed by several months or more if the clinician treats the patient’s complaints empirically with drugs instead of providing a thorough physical examination and workup. Patients with complaints lasting longer than 2-4 weeks should be referred promptly to an appropriate specialist to obtain a definitive diagnosis.
What kind of tests are used to diagnose mouth cancer?
Tests and procedures used to diagnose mouth cancer include: Physical exam. Your doctor or dentist will examine your lips and mouth to look for abnormalities — areas of irritation, such as sores and white patches (leukoplakia).
What are the different stages of mouth cancer?
Mouth cancer stages are indicated using Roman numerals I through IV. A lower stage, such as stage I, indicates a smaller cancer confined to one area. A higher stage, such as stage IV, indicates a larger cancer, or that cancer has spread to other areas of the head or neck or to other areas of the body.
How does an ENT check for oral cancer?
In order to confirm an oral cancer diagnosis, an ENT doctor must take a biopsy (a tissue sample) of the concerning area. 3 The tissue sample is then analyzed under a microscope by a doctor called a pathologist. If a pathologist concludes that cancer cells are present, the biopsy will be tested for the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV).