Oral tumors are lesions in or around the mouth. They can either be benign (harmless) or malignant (cancerous).
Early detection is very important in controlling oral tumors. Your Vanderbilt dentist can perform an oral cancer examination at your semi-annual dental checkup. The cancer screening is quick and painless.
If you have an oral lesion that has been present for 2 weeks or is growing you should see your dentist or oral surgeon.
A biopsy is the best way to determine whether a lesion is cancerous. It requires removal of a tissue sample for examination. If the biopsy shows that cancer is present, you will need to undergo tests and further examinations to find out how much the cancer has developed and spread.
A sore, irritation, lump or thickening in the mouth, lip, or throat
A white or red patch in the mouth
A feeling that something is stuck in your throat
Difficulty chewing or swallowing
Difficulty moving your jaw or tongue
Numbness in your tongue or other areas of your mouth
Swelling in the jaw that causes dentures to fit poorly or become uncomfortable
Pain in one ear without hearing loss
Oral cancers are often treated with surgery to remove the tumor. Some cancers will also be treated with radiation therapy or a combination of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Depending on the size and location benign oral tumors usually need to be surgically removed.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center Main Number: 615-322-5000
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