A wide variety of cells constitute the mouth tissue. Malignancy may originate in any particular type of cells, which will determine the type of oral cancer. Before the mouth cancer treatment begins, it’s necessary to identify its type.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Landon D. McLain provides oral surgery to patients in Huntsville, Madison, Florence, Decatur, Scottsboro, Cullman, Athens, Alabama, and surrounding communities.
Squamous Cell Carcinoma
One of the most common forms of oral mouth cancer is squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), which begins in the oral cavity. Squamous cells are flat, thin and appear like fish scales. These cells are found in the tissue that builds the skin surface, the lining of the body’s hollow organs, and the lining of the digestive and respiratory tracts.
Oral verrucous carcinoma is a rare subtype of SCC. Another type of mouth cancer is oral melanoma, which occurs in the pigment-creating cells in the body. Melanoma of the head and neck may develop on the skin in these areas, or the tissue inside the oral or nasal cavity.
Location of Mouth Cancer
Although nine out of 10 oral cancers are SCC, the treatment will depend on the precise location of the cancer.
Floor of the Mouth Cancer
This type of head and neck cancer occurs when the cells constituting the floor of the mouth start growing out of control and form tumors or lesions. This type of cancer may initially be mistaken for canker sores. Therefore, it is important to see an experienced oral surgeon for early diagnosis.
Gum cancer is easily treatable if detected early, but patients sometimes mistake it for gingivitis. This type of head and neck cancer occurs when the cells forming the lower and upper gum tissue grow out of control and start creating tumors or lesions.
The risk of gum cancer is higher for people who chew tobacco or drink alcohol excessively. An experienced dentist may be able to notice the early signs of gum cancer during a periodic dental exam.
Hard Palate Cancer
Cancers of the hard palate are relatively rare. An ulcer occurring on the roof of the mouth may be the first sign of this cancer. This type of cancer occurs when cells constituting the bony portion of the roof of mouth form tumors or lesions and growth out of control. Hard palate cancers in an advanced stage may spread into the nose cavity.
Buccal Mucosa cancer (inner cheek cancer), tongue cancer, and lip cancer, are the other common types of mouth cancer. These cancers are often curable if detected early.
Stages of Oral Cancer
If your dentist finds pre-cancerous cells in the oral cavity, which could eventually develop into a cancer, it is called carcinoma in situ or stage 0. Localized oral cancer only affects one area of the mouth, but has not spread to the surrounding tissue.
Distant mouth cancer has spread to other body parts, possibly including the liver or lungs. If oral cancer is left untreated, it may first spread to other parts of the mouth, and then to the neck, head, and the remaining areas of the body.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Landon D. McLain receives patients from Huntsville, Madison, Florence, Decatur, Scottsboro, Cullman, Athens, Alabama, and nearby areas for oral surgery.
McLain Surgical Arts is a leading cosmetic surgery practice headed by Dr. Landon D. McLain MD, DMD, FACS in Huntsville, AL. Dr. McLain is a double board certified cosmetic and oral & maxillofacial surgeon, offering a variety of procedures such as dental implants, wisdom teeth extraction, breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, tummy tuck, facelift, Botox, and laser skin resurfacing. For more information or to schedule a consultation call 256.429.3411 or click here.
Now taking patients from Huntsville, Scottsboro, Decatur, Madison, Athens, Florence, Cullman, AL and surrounding areas.